Lesson Focus

Lesson focuses on aerospace engineering and how space flight has been achieved from an engineering vantage point. Student teams build and launch a rocket made out of a soda bottle and powered with an air pump and consider the forces on a rocket, Newton’s Laws, and other principles and challenges of actual space vehicle launch. Teams design their structure on paper, learn about aerospace engineering, launch their rocket, and share observations with their class.


Download:

Full Lesson Plan
Student Worksheets


Age Levels:

8 – 18

Objectives

  • Learn about aerospace engineering.
  • Learn about engineering design and redesign.
  • Learn about space flight.
  • Learn how engineering can help solve society’s challenges.
  • Learn about teamwork and problem solving.

Anticipated Learner Outcomes

As a result of this activity, students should develop an understanding of:

  • aerospace engineering
  • engineering design
  • space flight
  • teamwork

Lesson Activities

Students explore how engineers have developed rockets over the years, and learn about the principals of rocketry. They work in teams to construct and launch a rocket made from a soda bottle that launches with an air pump under teacher supervision. The students compare their accomplishments and challenges with those of other student teams, complete a reflection sheet, and present to the class.

Resources/Materials

  • Teacher Resource Documents
  • Student Resource Sheet
  • Student Worksheet

Alignment to Curriculum Frameworks

Curriculum alignment sheet is included in PDF.