Final Reflection

We are at the end of our rocketry unit. All that’s left is the slideshow which we have to do in front of parents. It has been a really fun experience and I have learned a lot. But even still, I am happy that it’s almost over because working with my group was really hard. I still liked doing rocketry a lot even though I didn’t like working as a team as much.


I learned so much about rocketry, rockets, and the process of it all. First, I learned about the engineering design process, and how you have to go through all the steps, get your final result, and start all over again! I also learned about rocketry and about thrust, lift, weight, and drag. I learned that in a group, you have to compromise. I learned about how in a slideshow you can’t put too many words on a page. I learned so many things, I can’t even list them all.


What I enjoyed the most is basically the whole unit and launching the rockets. Therefore, my favorite phase is the launch phase because you get to go outside and launch your rocket. The thing I enjoyed the least is the group working part because it is hard to agree on what everyone wants to do. Also, sometimes people mess around and you don’t get any work done. My least favorite phase was the design phase because all you do is make a drawing of what you want your rocket to look like. Overall, it was a really fun experience.

My group.

Designing and Building Rocket #3

After we designed, built and launched rockets #1 and #2, We had to take all the information that we had gathered about what worked well, and what didn’t work well. Designing the 3rd rocket was easier than designing the 2nd because since we already changed one thing of our rocket, it was easier to figure out what we were going to change on our 3rd one because there were less options. Now I’ll tell you all about the process of designing and building rocket #3.


For rocket #3, my team decided to change the fins into longer and wider fins. This is because we had already changed the body of our rocket to a thicker tube, and we think that it didn’t really make a difference between the thin or thick tube. But, our second choice would be to change the fins, so we are keeping the body and nose cone the same and changing the fins. Our team decided more easily about what to change, and we made the decision quickly. We agreed the whole time, so we didn’t fight.


I think that our design for our 3rd rocket is a good one. I always wanted to make the fins bigger so I’m happy that we are making them bigger. We are also putting them a little higher up on the rocket because the group’s rocket that went the highest on the first launch, did that. So we have bigger fins so the air deflects off them more, a thick body for more air flow, and a tall nose cone so that it cuts through the air. I think it is our best design yet. My team collaborated well during this stage and we didn’t argue with each other.


Then, it was time to build our rocket. It was a little easier to agree on things than it was when we built the first and second rocket, because one of the members of our team, wasn’t there. We glued the fins on (and this time we didn’t wrap it in tinfoil because when we did that before, it didn’t do anything). We also glued the nose cone on, and then we wrapped tape around it too just to be safe. Our rocket looks good. Its colors are green, yellow, and blue. I think it will do well because of the bigger fins. We’ll just have to wait and see.


Finally, it was time to launch our third and final rocket. I was really excited for this launch because I thought that my team’s rocket would go high because we had lots of experience from designing and building our other rockets so I thought that this was the best design and that it wold go the highest. We launched our rocket and it turns out that it went 114 feet high. I was really disappointed because it went WAY lower than I thought it was going to. But, if you really think about it, 114 feet high is pretty high, so it was okay.

Launching and Graphing Rocket #2

In this blog post I will be talking about our launch of rocket #2, and graphing it. Since it was the 2nd time doing everything, it went a lot quicker than the 1st launch because we now knew that we should get more people to get videos of the launch. For graphing, it was a lot faster because we already knew how to do it, so we didn’t need explaining. Also, we didn’t mess up the graphing as much. So, now, I’ll tell what happened during all of this.


At our 2nd launch, I was the rocket launcher, and the rocket retriever. Again, I wanted to be the countdown master, but I was at least the retriever, which is one of the things I wanted to be. I think that our rocket went really high, but the clinometer readers for our group said that it wasn’t as high as I thought it was. It went lower than our 1st rocket. Our rocket went at least the 3rd highest. I think it went the highest, but I’m not sure. I think that when I was a clinometer reader, I got it perfect. I also think that it’s fun being a clinometer reader. My group didn’t really argue at all, and it was easy to figure out what jobs each person was going to be.


The clinometer readers on the field said that our rocket went 36 meters high, and the clinometer readers opposite them said that our rocket went 42 meters high. When we used the graphing chart, we ended up seeing that our rocket went 41.5 meters. When we used a computer to convert it into feet, we saw that it went 136 feet high. For rocket #3, we are changing the fins to bigger fins. This is because we know that our nose cone is very good, and we have tried both types of bodies, and we think that if we make the fins bigger, then the air will repell off the rocket more. My team didn’t argue at this stage, and we agreed on everything, so that made it easier.

Designing and Building Rocket #2

After we launched our 1st rocket, we needed to design and build our 2nd rocket. It was hard because you needed to change your rocket in one way. You had to take what you learned from the 1st launch and and what the other teams had that made them do well. It was also hard to agree on things. We mostly looked at the team’s rocket that went the highest because theirs was the only one that went higher than ours, so we wanted to know why.


For our 2nd rocket, we decided to change the body. This is because if we change the tube to a thicker tube, the air pressure is the same but the air inside the rocket has more room, so more air can go from the pump to the rocket body. This will make the rocket have more thrust, so it will go higher. There was a little bit of arguing about what to change because we didn’t know if the thicker tube would work so we didn’t know if we should use it. But in the end we worked it out.


Our 2nd rocket design was pretty similar to our 1st rocket design. It was hard to tell that we were changing the body, but when we labeled it, it was okay. We had the thicker tube so that the PSI is the same, but there’s more thrust. Our fins stayed the same because they aren’t too big, so they won’t weigh the rocket down, but they are big enough so that the air repels off the rocket. We also kept our nose cone the same because it really good and tall, and it really cuts through the air and it didn’t push against the air too much, which would slow the rocket down.


I think that building our 2nd rocket was fun because we all knew from our last rocket what worked, and what didn’t. For example, wrapping the nose cone in tinfoil didn’t work, so we didn’t do that again. We made our nose cone out of cardstock, so that it wasn’t flimsy and bendable. We made our body out of cardstock too so that when the air went into it, it wouldn’t push the paper out wider. Finally, we made our fins out of cardboard because if we had made them out of paper, that they would bend all around. We didn’t cover them in tinfoil this time. There was a little arguing about who glued what, but we figured that out, too.


Building our 2nd rocket.

Launching/Graphing Rocket #1

After we made our rocket, it was time to launch. Then we had to graph the results. In this blog post I will be telling you all about our 1st launch, and graphing our 1st launch. It was really fun watching our rocket shoot into the sky, but before that happened, there was a mishap that you will learn about right now…

When we launched our rocket, the nose cone blew off! It went pretty high, but the rocket body didn’t budge. This was because we wrapped the nose cone in tinfoil so when we glued it on we only glued the tinfoil on, not the paper inside. So, the paper ripped through the nose cone. We went back to the classroom with our Aide, Mrs. Clemente, and taped it back on with lots of tape. After we did this it went really high!

One other team had to patch theirs up too, but the rest of the teams’ rockets went well. I was the rocket placer and a pumper. I wanted to be the countdown master, and retriever, but my jobs were still okay. I also think that I was accurate with the clinometer. Our team collaborated well and we all worked together to fix our rocket.

After we taped our nose cone back on and launched it again, it went 46.5 meters. Then, when we converted it into feet, it was 153 feet. It was the second highest. The highest went 192 feet.

I think that our rocket did really well, but I also think that we can do better. For our second rocket, we are going to change the body to the thicker tube because there is the same amount of air pressure, but more air inside the rocket. This will hopefully make our 2nd rocket go higher. Our team collaboration during this was good, but we had a little trouble deciding whose graph we would use. Overall, I think that it was really fun.


Designing and Building Rocket 1

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.