Air Powered Rockets

Written By: Marcia Herndon - Engineering Teacher
Students in Mrs.Herndon’s Engineering class recently designed, constructed, and tested air powered rockets.  Using the Whitebox Engineering toolsuite, students researched the primary engineering principles involved in designing a rocket - weight, thrust, drag, stability, and recovery.
Once they completed the research, students used the software’s design tools and 3-D solid modeller to design their rocket. Each design was tested in an online simulation to determine the flight time, and students made modifications to their designs to improve performance.  Once the designs were optimized, we printed construction templates and built the rockets. Students tested their rockets to see how closely the actual designs performed to the predicted results. The designs were not successful at first, because the parachutes did not deploy; however, this was the perfect opportunity to put the iterative part of the Engineering Design Process into practice.  Students regrouped and brainstormed some possible solutions to the parachute deployment problem, performed tests of their design solutions, and then retested their rockets.

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