As Elton John’s classic, Rocket Man played in the background, Niki Gordon-Coy’s 8th graders participated in a PBL unit of building a rocket while learning about force, motion, gravity, and speed. Kicking off the lesson, Mrs. Gordon-Coy recapped the grade 8 physical science learning standards (Topic: Forces and Motion), prompting students to explain how objects can exert forces on each other and can cause changes in the motion of the object.
Following a brief demonstration via YouTube on how to construct a rocket using measurements, paper, and tape, students got to work, using creativity, science, and math to construct their rockets. After their rockets were created, students put them into action by launching the rockets using a straw and their own air pressure to power them through the air. While rockets were flying around, students made modifications to their designs (another wing perhaps!) to refine designs, all while recording their findings in a science notebook.