Rocket Launch Project

After completing a unit on momentum and impulse, students used 2-Liter soda bottles and spare material to try and protect an egg within their rocket while seeing who could launch the farthest. This is an example of one launch during class. We launched everyone's practice rocket twice and collected data, and then the students were able to use each period's data together to best create a second rocket that would carry their egg.

Practicum Labs

Near the end of each unit, I give students an experience to put their learning to the test in a hands-on challenge. These aren't the usual labs given at the beginning of the unit to introduce topics; these are challenges graded on performance. For example, to the left is a totally-not-staged photo of the flying pig lab, where I time the flying pig for 30 seconds as it goes in circles, put the stopwatch in my pocket, and ask the students to calculate how long it took my pig to go around. I give them the length of the string I was using and other pertinent variables, and they are left to use their knowledge gained throughout the unit on circular motion to develop an equation for how long it would take the pig to go around based on the variables I gave them. They have their own flying pig to test if their method is accurate as they are developing it. Most students are worried enough to prepare but find their confidence building as they are usually in good shape by the end of a period! Other practicum labs I do are predicting where a baseball will land if it's tied to the ceiling and swings like a pendulum, with the string being cut at the bottom of its arc, or predicitng where a marble will land as it rolls off the edge of a table, and more.