You've seen for yourself, or in videos, planes flying, rockets hurdling towards space, boats racing through the water and submarines exploring the depths of the ocean. Have you ever stopped and thought about the aerodynamics and hydrodynamics involved in their operation? There is a lot of interesting science that goes into how they work!
Do you need a fun, easy way to teach your students about the scientific method? Try this lesson that uses rockets made from nothing but paper, tape, and straws.
An elementary school version of this lesson plan is also available.
People have used boats to transport things around the world for thousands of years. Unfortunately, those boats can be vulnerable to stormy seas and they can capsize. This lesson expands on the classic "aluminum foil boat" project. Normally, students would build a boat from a sheet of aluminum foil and see how much weight it can hold—in still water—before sinking. In this project, they will find out how well their boats hold up to waves!
NGSS Performance Expectations:
Define the criteria and constraints of a design problem with sufficient precision to ensure a successful solution, taking into account relevant scientific principles and potential impacts on people and the natural environment that may limit possible solutions.
Evaluate competing design solutions using a systematic process to determine how well they meet the criteria and constraints of the problem.
Analyze data from tests to determine similarities and differences among several design solutions to identify the best characteristics of each that can be combined into a new solution to better meet the criteria for success.
Develop a model to generate data for iterative testing and modification of a proposed object, tool, or process such that an optimal design can be achieved.