The goal is to allow students to gain deeper understanding of rocket physics through various experiments and lessons. In addition, we would like to motivate and inspire students with a taste of the space industry. Our engagement will correlate with what is being taught by the teachers in the high schools.
The Baerocats performed a projectile motion lab at St. Xavier for 75 students for three classes on October 27, 2016. The materials for the lab included: Two pencils, a tissue box, a rubber band, and a container holding a mass.
The event carried out at Indian Hill High School on January 11th and 12th was for four advanced pre-calculus courses and one Algebra I course. Students developed straw rockets using straws for the rocket bodies, modeling clay for sealing/nose weight, and index cards for the fins.
Thirteen Algebra I students focused on linear inequalities (which acted as asteroid belts that the students that to aim past) and linear equations (acting as trajectories for rockets in deep space) and then built straw rockets to see which team could go the furthest.
An advanced pre-calculus course focused on trigonometry, reaching 67 students across four classes. Baerocats gave an overview of sample trigonometric problems, how to build a straw rocket, designated team roles, and gave help through the whole project. Students first built straw rockets, then performed trigonometric calculations to determine whether their rockets would land in two targeted zones. Then students launched their straw rockets to see the accuracy of their calculations. Students then were excited enough to try to compete to get the furthest distance.
Both activities had designation of team roles for each group of four, design iterations, and finally an in class discussion after the activity to see their thoughts, ideas, and feedback about the activity. These components will be used for grading purposes. The trigonometric activity additionally included a pre/post assessment.