On April 23, 2010 Mr. Gowin’s Physics class held their annual rocket launch on the practice field. The point of this experiment is to allow students to apply what they have learned in class to a hands-on situation in the form of a friendly competition. Mr. Gowins stated that the project is based on the “conservation of momentum”. The students were tasked with building their own rockets out of every day materials such as cardboard and plastic bottles. The students were graded on a grading scale of 1-10, 1 being the lowest and 10 being a perfect score. The requirements for a perfect score were having the longest flight or being the closest rocket to the launch pad.
“The students had no assistance with the project” Gowins said. The students were told to research the project on their own and only given the information concerning the materials needed to build the rocket. They were not allowed to add any metal or power sources. “They had to research the weight, wing construction, and know how much water was needed in the bottle”, says Gowins. This experiment helped students see how physics is applied in the real world and not just in a classroom.
To get started, the students would then fill the bottles with water and apply pressure via bicycle pump. Then after a timed count down they would pull the trigger to allow the rocket to launch into the air. Each student was required to launch their rocket two times. The students who received a score of 10 were Kristen Mosley and Jacob Burton. Kristen received her 10 because she had the longest flight with a time
of 8.3 seconds. The highest score ever for longest flight was 11 seconds made by Eric Woods. Jacob received his 10 by having his rocket land 50 feet away from the launch pad.
In conclusion, Gowins stated that Physics is a must for any technical career. He advised any student planning to take Physics to “come prepared to work hard.” If you meet the above requirements, then Physics is the class for you.
By: Ryan May and Le Nguyen