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Teamwork and technology are critical for study of rocket science (photo gallery)

10/30/2017

Planning, collaboration, engineering, and investigation are just four of the skills that some Chief Joseph Middle School science students are using to build a water bottle rocket. “Working in teams, their goal is to design a rocket that will launch the farthest into space for the most competitive price,” explains teacher Becky Mittleider. “I encourage students to ask the question ‘what do I really know about the science behind launching a rocket.’”

The students are learning about Force, Motion, and Newton’s Third Law in relation to rocket science. Students brainstorm lists of questions and file the answers digitally in a Google Team folder. They utilize Google Classroom to develop blogs, post videos, and share ideas.  

“One of my goals is to have high functioning teams,” says Mittleider. “The students collectively can create something greater than what is possible individually.”  

These expert teams researched different types of fins, nose cones, and chambers. They presented their research findings to classmates thru an illustrated poster. The engineering design work followed which led to construction and initial test launches.

“We will conduct a re-design in the spring and then more test launches,” adds Mittleider. “Now that the students understand some of the physics, we will study Boyle’s Law (pressure and gas) later in chemistry.”