Rockets: An Educator’s Guide with Activities in Science, Mathematics, and Technology – NASA


This guide provides teachers and students many opportunities. Chapters within the guide present the history of rocketry, National Aeronautics and Space Administration’s (’s) 21st Century Space Exploration Policy, rocketry principles, and practical rocketry.

These topics lay the foundation for what follows–a wealth of dynamic rocket classroom activities that work. The activities focus on Sir Isaac Newton’s laws of motion and how they apply to rockets.

They incorporate cooperative , , critical thinking, and hands-on involvement. They support national and state standards for science, , and technology across many grade levels.

All of the activities are designed with the classroom in mind. They include clear descriptions, background information for the teacher and student, detailed and tips, lists of readily available , assessments, questions for discussion, and extensions.

The activities are designed to foster excitement and a passion for learning. It has been created as a two to six week classroom unit depending upon the grade level of the students but individual activities can be extracted and used as stand-alone classroom experiences.

Teachers will find activity objectives and principles clearly stated along with the vocabulary terms necessary for understanding the principles involved.

Table of Contents

1. Activity format
2. Brief history of rockets
3. Rocket principles
4. Practical rocketry
5. Launch vehicle family album
6. Activities
7. Activity Matrix
8. Pop can hero engiene
9. Rocket races
10. Pop!
12. Antacid table race
13. Paper rockets
14. Newton car
15. Balloon staging
16. Rocket transportation
17. Altitude tracking
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