This year, my class has been doing rocketry. It is very fun and interesting because you get to learn about rockets including launching and building them. But, through all this fun, you also need to work together with your group and you need to agree on what your rocket is going to look like. First, you need to design your rocket, then you need to build it. Finally, when you feel satisfied with your rocket, you can launch it. But, it takes a lot of work to do that so even though it’s fun, it’s hard work, too.
Before we could design and build our rocket, we had to research about what would make a good rocket. We looked at websites, videos, diagrams, and more. We learned about the forces that impact rocket flight such as lift, thrust, weight, and drag. Lift is an upward force that makes the rocket shoot into the sky, for this we used a bike pump. Thrust is used to overcome the weight of the rocket, as it keeps it going through the sky. The air that is inside the rocket after the bike pump shoots it up, creates this. Weight is a force that makes the rocket fall to the ground because of gravity. Drag is a force that opposes the force of thrust. Therefore, thrust must be greater than drag. This helped us design our rocket because after researching, we then knew that we should try to make the rocket as light as possible so that the weight isn’t greater than drag.
My group in rocketry had trouble designing our 1st rocket because everyone wanted to do something different. But we chose a design that looked like it would be the most successful and started discussing things like how wide our rocket should be, and what our fins and nose cone should look like. When we actually started designing rocket 1, we realized that we wouldn’t be able to build it like we had talked about. So, we made some changes, and made it more realistic. We had a tall nose cone so that it could cut through the air, a thin body tube so that the air that would push the rocket up was more compressed, and 3 medium sized fins that would make the air deflect off our rocket.
When our design was finished, we started building our rocket. To make our body, we took the skinnier PVC pipe and wrapped thick paper around it pretty tightly, but loose enough so that the pipe could come out again. Then we taped the ends of the paper that we had just rolled up together, and our rocket body was finished. To make our fins, we made a fin template that would show what size our fins would be. We made them out of cardboard. Then we measured where our fins would be. We all wanted to glue them on, so we each glued one fin on, and then the person who didn’t get to glue one on, glued the nose cone on. Finally, we hot glued them on to make them stable. Then we had to make our nose cone. We made 2 nose cones out of thick paper and taped them together so that it was taller. Then, we wrapped it in tinfoil so that the air would slide off that rocket more. Lastly, we hot glued it on so that it wouldn’t pop off. And, finally, our 1st rocket was finished!
Our finished rocket.