Paper Rockets

120 Minutes  |  1st – 12th Grades

rocketsUsing a bike pump and launching apparatus, students will make paper rockets that can fly up to 200 feet in the air!  This activity is a great example of the design process, and an introduction to basic trajectory physics.  Students will select from a variety of paper materials (note cards, card stock, copy paper) to make their rocket body from, and then affix a nosecone and fins to complete the assembly.  The rockets are then brought outside and tested, first at an angle of 90° to determine the maximum height and initial velocity (using the elapsed time of flight).  Then in a second launch (time permitting) students are presented with a challenge to make their rocket fly as high and far as possible, by setting the angle of the launch tube.  Afterwards, the class compiles the data and analyzes the results to see which body material, angle, number of fins, etc. worked the best!

This activity has highly variable range of levels of intricacy, and can be conducted very effectively with any range of students.

Lesson Plan- Paper Rockets

Handout – Paper Rockets

Nosecone Template

 

MA Framework:

Science, Technology and Engineering:

Physics:

High School:  1.2 Displacement/Distance/Speed/Acceleration.  1.3 Graphing 1D Motion.  1.4 Newton’s 3 Laws.  1.5 Free-Body Diagram.  2.2 Gravitational Potential Energy to Kinetic.

Technology/Engineering:

Grades 6-8:  6.4 Forces in Transportation

Paper Rockets Prezi

  • Contact Us

    Center for STEM Education
    520 International Village
    360 Huntington Ave
    Boston, MA. 02115

    Email: stem@neu.edu
    Phone: (617) 373-8380
    Fax: (617) 373-7084