Straw Rockets

March 24, 2011
The class will make straw rockets
and launch them with LEGO pneumatics.
The angle will be changed.
We are trying to discover which angle would be best for the longest distance.

The students made rockets from straws and tape or plastic clay.

Shorter worked better.

Using a protractor we can set the angle for each set of trials.

Though only one rocket goes at one time,
two can be set up.
The air tank is filled by 20 pushes of the cylinder.
Then the switch is moved towards the side that is next.

Large diameter straws do not work well.

After a time of experimentation to test  various materials and lengths
we set up the launcher at 30 degrees and had each rocket set off.
We left them all on the floor until the last one.  Then we measured and recorded the average.
Today with 10 students, that was easy because it was the sum of the distances divided by 10.
We did it again for a second trial then went on to 45 degrees and 60 degrees.

After each round of trials the distances are measured, averaged, and recorded.

We figured out we should have launched from the floor.
The first part of the activity had many variables.
For a scientific experiment there should be one variable changed and data carefully recorded.
Once they had built a "good" rocket from trial and error
the experiment goal was to determine a best angle.

LEGO Links of Linda Hamilton
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