#### Transcript Rocketry Project Poster

This is Rocket Science A Project about Leadership in Science and Mathematics In partial fulfillment of the requirements for SCI 2310: Leadership in Science and Mathematics By James Freiheit, Michael Herriage, Sheharyar Khan, Austin Wegner McMurry Center for Mission Outreach with Science and Technology (MCMOST), McMurry University, Abilene, Texas 79697 Introduction In our LEV class, Leadership in Science and Mathematics (SCI 2310), we were trying to find a project where we could help students struggling in aspects of science and math. Passing the TAKS test is a requirement for students in Texas to graduate from high school. Since science is a subject that many students struggle with, we felt that a project to give students an advantage to pass the test was an appropriate project to tackle. Approaching this task, we went to Clyde high school to see if there was any way we could help the school with the TAKS. To our surprise they were very eager to accept our help. Class Schedule Field Trip to McMurry Day 1 To give the students encouragement for the TAKS test and to foster a college-going environment, we invited Clyde to send the students to McMurry for a morning. While they were here, Dr. Keith launched several of his larger, more impressive, Estes rockets. Then, the students participated in physics and chemistry demonstrations. The McMurry Office of Admission gave them a tour of the campus. We finished the field trip by playing Jeopardy! using TAKS questions. On our first day at Clyde, we introduced the rocket concept to the students. This led us into showing off the rocket and discussing its shape as well as its parts and their purpose. We used deflated and inflated balloons to demonstrate balanced and unbalanced forces and show them how to make a free-body diagram. Finally, the concepts introduced were summarized using Newton’s three laws of motion. Days 4 & 5 Using data collected from the bench test, the students completed a worksheet using TAKS equations to calculate and predict the height reached by the rocket as well as information on its velocity and energy. Objectives Our primary objective was to improve the Clyde students TAKS scores by helping them to understand certain fundamental concepts in physics. We also hoped to inspire these students in their learning by showing them how much fun science can be. Day 6 Day 2 We paired the students up, gave Estes E2X Generic Bulk Pack rocket kits to each group, and assisted them in constructing the rockets. After waiting for a day with calm winds, we were finally able to launch the rockets. Four to five rockets were launched during each period. For each launch, the students took turns collecting various data. One student pressed the button to launch the rocket. Another student stood a premeasured distance away and used their angle-measuring devices to measure the angle to the rocket at its peak. Two other students used stopwatches to measure the time the rocket took going up and down. Conclusions Our initial goal of designing a project to help high school students learn concepts they generally struggle with on the TAKS was accomplished. We also created a teacher’s guide which includes a day-by-day outline for teaching a class on rocketry, the worksheets we created to help enforce their understanding of various concepts, and information about what supplies were used and how much they cost. This guide is available in PDF format at www.mcm.edu. Literature cited Process To gain a further understanding of the students’ needs we met with their teachers. From the meeting we gathered useful information including TAKS scores from the previous year, their opinion of the students’ greatest needs, which students needed the most help, and an idea of their motivation. Taking the TAKS scores from the previous year and compiling it into an Excel format, we determined which concepts the students needed to learn the most. Out next step was to brainstorm ideas while keeping in mind the students’ motivation for learning. We wanted to find something that would give a “bang” and keep them interested all while teaching the needed concepts. Some of these ideas were construction, cooking, “Mythbusters”, and rocketry. In the end, we chose rocketry as our project because it covered most of the desired concepts. Going into further detail we decided on functions, TAKS equations, and which rocket experiment we wanted to use. Furthermore, we designed worksheets that utilized the TAKS concepts and equations that we wanted to cover. Pogrow, Stanley. “Teaching Content Outrageously: Instruction in the Era of On-Demand Entertainment.” Phi Delta Kappan 91 (January 2009): 379-383. http://www.esteseducator.com/ http://www.nar.org/SandT/NARenglist.shtml http://www.tea.state.tx.us/index3.aspx?id=3839&menu_id3=79 3 Days 7 & 8 Day 3 There were several tasks for this day. First, Dr. Keith showed the students how to set up the rockets and motors for launch. Then, a bench test of the motor was performed. Using a force sensor connected to a tablet computer, the students collected data on the force and duration of the burn. Next, the students collected data on the masses of the rockets they built and the burned and unburned motors. Finally, the students constructed angle-measuring devices. Using trigonometry, TAKS equations, and data collected from the launch, the students worked through another worksheet to calculate how high the rocket actually went and information on its actual velocity and energy. They compared these results to their predictions and discussed possible reasons for the differences. On our last day working with the students at Clyde, we used actual TAKS questions from previous exams to show how the concepts we had been using with rockets would apply to the real TAKS test. Acknowledgments We would like to thank the teachers, administrators, and students of Clyde High School for their enthusiastic support for our project. We appreciate the help given by Ms. Kinslow, Ms. Walton, Ms. Owens, Mr. Fuqua, Ms. Howard, and Mr. Ogle at Clyde High School. We learned much from observing and working with their classes.