Having a BLAST with Math & Science…

Many times, when something is considered “easy” we say “That’s not Rocket Science”!  Well, this time it is!  8th grade students are working on a unit in physical science class called just that, “Rocket Science”. They are exploring the connections between math and science and have come to realize that sometimes you need both.

After studying the math of projectile motion, the students practiced sending virtual rockets into space using a projectile simulator on their iPads.  Here they experimented with the connections between mass, angle of projection, force and velocity.  Just seeing the importance of trial and error and how failure sometimes can be just as important as success in their experiments and hypothesis was a lesson. The students then designed their own rockets and launched them in the parking lot using ordinary materials: An inner tube, a two liter bottle, lots of  duct tape and good old fashion “foot power” to provide the propulsion force.  They were impressed with the successful launches and discussed and redesigned the not so successful ones.  The first challenge was to send the rockets as far as possible.  The next phase will be going for accuracy and aiming for a specific target just like the NASA “computers” did to accurately predict the space capsule’s splash down landings.

Little did the students realize they could have such a “Blast” with Math & Science!