A bit of rocket science

26 April 2019: The Iowa Tests took up some mornings for two to four days this week, and the afternoons were devoted to fun and other learning – music, a classic movie or two, some regular classes, and play.  One of our kindergarteners, Alden, took the time to read about space flight.  Teacher and board chair Vince Gutschick engaged him in conversation and then showed him model rockets.  He and Alden prepped one rocket on Thursday.  Today, Friday, four older students in grades 5-8 were free after a noon science class, so six of us donned hard hats and launched the rocket twice.  Some students were stunned by the rapid takeoff.   Vince did a post-launch presentation on how the rocket engine is constructed and why the nozzle has its shape (it helps to make the exhaust gases exit near atmospheric pressure, for maximal propulsion efficiency).  We have calls for more flights and classes!  You can see a post from 2016 about a high-tech analysis of rocket flights, done with a lot of prep, strong math, and good, hard work by students.  If you really like math, Vince has some nice equations to predict the model rocket’s flight details.  We do science, we love science.