I created this lab for use with a rocket lab kit that was purchased from a laboratory supply company. The lab that was included with the kit was quite technical and originally intended for college students! I wrote my own lab for use with my 7th graders. Hopefully you can make this work for you! It certainly could be modified if you had your students build their own rockets and launch pad, then launch rockets using bike tire pump.
Forces affect an object’s motion in many ways. An object’s motion can be described by explaining how its position changes. A description of an object’s motion includes a reference point, a direction from the reference point, and a distance.
Speed, velocity, and acceleration can also describe an object’s motion. Speed is the distance traveled by an object in a unit of time. Velocity includes both speed and direction of motion. Acceleration is a change in velocity. Velocity changes when either the speed, the direction, or both the speed and the direction change.
Students will perform various calculations throughout this laboratory. Calculations will include total time of flight, launch velocity, initial kinetic energy, height of rocket, and gravitational potential energy.
To find the total time t the projectile spends in the air is called the time of flight, use the equation:
t=time of flight=t_up+t_down
To find the launch velocity (v0), use the equation:
To find the projectile’s kinetic energy at launch, use the equation:
To find the projectile’s gravitational potential energy, use the equation:
To find the projectile’s maximum height, use the following equation:
Each equation will be explained when it is needed throughout the laboratory. Additionally, most equations include an example of how to perform the calculation.
Low and High thrust launcher
Bike tire hand pump