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.

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.