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Hands-on tasks add fuel to rocket launching assignment


Students in AP (Advanced Placement) Physics studied many different facets of launching rockets, complete with a final launching of rockets to judge consistency. First they created the paper rockets, then practiced launching them toward a target 25 feet away. Students conducted a video analysis, adding information to formulas to get just the right angle at just the right air pressure. Below are student quotes about the project.

Kenny Pham, senior, North American Martyrs

"Yeah, I thought it was pretty fun. Building the rocket was actually a really fun process. And launching it, yeah, that was like the best part."

Definitely in the video process I thought we could see the angle at which it was launched and we had to fix that a bit, and the first test launch. That was a bunch of trial and error stuff."

""The first thing I learned was like, everything doesn’t come through right away. We have to take a bunch of steps to finish the whole process, and there are so many variables involved, and you have to test them all out."

Becca Barry, senior, St. Peter

"We built our rockets in class, and then we got one day to practice so it was kind of nerve-wracking almost to just have one day to do it because the first day we hit the target once. So it went better than the first day, not as good as it could have gone."

"It really let me put what I am learning in class into action and learn all about trajectories and forces."

Gabe Steffen, senior, North American Martyrs

"We kind of just had to press the button consistently. If you press it to hard or too fast, it will go way past the target, and if you press it just right you will hit it, and if you press it too slowly, it will land in front of it."

"It really shows you more of how it is in the real world and not just in a textbook."

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