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Straw Rocket Challenge

Learner and Environmental Factors

-Grade Level: 4th
-Content Area: STEM

State or Local Standards:

4-PS3-1 - Energy- The faster a given object is moving, the more energy it possesses.
4-PS3-3 - Force- When objects collide, the contact forces transfer energy so as to change
the object's motions.
4.MD.C.7 - Recognize angle measure as additive. When an angle is decomposed into
non-overlapping parts, the angle measure of the whole is the sum of the angle measures of
the parts. Solve addition and subtraction problems to find unknown angles on a diagram in
real world and mathematical problems, e.g., by using an equation with a symbol for the
unknown angle measure.
Lesson Performance Objective/Student Learning Outcomes (SLO):
Students will recognize angle measurement using the protractor base of the rocket
Glue sticks-8 per room
3 cardboard tubes
9 notecards
Straws 22x 3 (1 per student + 5),
3 rolls of tape
70- 1 strips of construction paper)
Disinfectant Wipes
70 Clay Balls for Rockets
Rocket Launchers (3)
Scissors (37 from Tech Center)
70 Cardstock Rulers
3 Tape Measurers
Rocket Word Search:
Straw Rocket Challenge Worksheet
Bring model rocket, prepare wooden holder- 25 for classroom teacher

Rocket- long circular device that is launched into the air.
Fin - any vertical airfoil, fixed or movable, whose chief function is to give stability in
Nose - The tip of an object
Force - the cause, or agent, that puts an object at rest into motion or alters the motion of a
moving object
Mass - Matter, material
Gravity - the force that causes everything that goes up to fall back down to Earth
Flight - the act of flying or leaving
Angle- two lines that have the same beginning point
Distance- the amount of space between two things
Launch- start or set in motion
Technology- the use of science to invent useful things or to solve problems
*Student Grouping: Individual Work
*Blooms Taxonomy: The highest level in this lesson is create. The students are going to be
applying new knowledge in order to create a new work and then test said work. The creation
process determines how well the final experiment should play out.
Anticipatory Set:
Perform an example launch: Show the students how the rocket launcher works and what
their rockets will need to be able to do.
Test the students knowledge of angles by asking them to guess the angle the rocket
launcher is set to.
Hand out the Straw Rocket Challenge Worksheet
Explain to the students that the goal of building their rocket is for it to be able to
complete The Challenge.
The Challenge:
Build a rocket using a straw, clay, glue sticks, and construction paper strips. Is this rocket
capable of being launched at the chosen planet?
***Allow time to complete each section. If at anytime a student finishes early with their section,
have them work on their Rocket Word Search until time to move onto the next step.
Allow the students 7 minutes to:
1. Brainstorm ideas for a rocket that can be made from the materials supplied. Have
the students think about rockets that they have seen before or invent a new idea.
Remind the students that their rocket can be unique and doesnt have to look like
the example. Have the students make a sketch of at least 3 ideas on the back of
their worksheet.
Allow the students 5 minutes to:
2. Redraw, label, and circle the best idea on their paper.
Allow the students 22 minutes to:
3. Build their rocket.
Steps to Build the Rocket:
Hand out to each student a pair of scissors, a ruler, and a straw.
Show the students how to measure and then cut their rocket to the correct length.
-Allow the students 7 minutes to complete this step.
Hand out to each student the construction paper strips and a glue stick.
Show the students how they can cut the fins in different ways to add on to the rockets in
different spots.
*Have the students put their initials on one of the fins before they glue it on.
-Allow the students 10 minutes to complete this step.
Hand out to each student the red clay pieces.
Show the students how they can create different weights for the nose of the rocket.
*Remind the students that there are wet wipes to clean their hands and desks once they are done
with the red clay.
-Allow the students 5 minutes to complete this step.
*Remind them to write a log of the steps they follow on the back of their worksheet.
*Once the students finish their rocket, have them bring it to the Rocket Holder to be stored until
they can test it. Have the students complete any unfinished part of their worksheet as well as the
Rocket Word Search.
*The following steps will be completed in a Part 2 of this lesson. More detailed instruction for
Part 2 is provided in a separate section.
4. Have the students test their rockets.
5. After students test their rockets, the teacher will test their own rocket. They will
have the students help them record the data and make adjustments to the angle
and the amount of force applied to the rocket or the weight of the nose.
6. Students will calculate the angle, force, and distance needed to be able to hit the
Check for Understanding:
Are your students understanding the connection between the angle of their rocket and where it
*Understanding will be checked throughout the lesson.

Application/Guided Practice/Independent Practice: *

*After this lesson, when a student observes an actual rocket launch, they should be able to
recognize the connection between force and energy and be able to understand how a rocket
functions on a basic level.
*Classroom teacher will continue the lesson the following day with the Step-by-Step math lesson
also provide with this lesson.

*Assessment/Evaluation of the information presented in this lesson can be done by checking the
Straw Rocket Challenge Worksheet and Math Calculations Worksheet. As well as observing the
students Straw Rockets and their tests of the rockets.



Word Search Maker

Data Sheet