STEM in action: Students engineering bottle rockets

Over the past 12 weeks the 8th grade students of Dayton Intermediate School have been learning about the solar system.

Since taking training in STEM from the NWRPDP in Reno DIS teacher, Kathleen Sloan-Lee, has been incorporating the FOSS curriculum and engineering component into her class. Her students have already completed a research project on the solar system. They have been doing FOSS activities and have been studying the effects of the force of gravity and thrust on rockets. They are engineering their first bottle rocket this week and scheduled to launch starting Monday, Nov. 14, through Friday, Nov. 18.

They are experimenting with numerous variables when designing their bottle rockets. They must decide on how much thrust is needed to lift a weighted rocket. They will be collecting data on how the surface area of fins impacts flight time to how the positioning of the fins impacts the flight pattern. Students will be collecting and analyzing the data then redesigning and re-building and re-launching their rockets.

School District personnel will be attending throughout the week. In December the class has planned a field trip to the UNR Fleischmann Planetarium and to visit the Mackay and Keck museums. They are hoping to earn a grant and looking for any donations to help fund the field trip. The school is at 315 Dayton Valley Road, Dayton, NV 89403.


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