Lesson Title: Thrust, Air Pressure Rockets and Newton's Third Law
This lesson connects a series of activities to examine thrust and Newton's Third Law applied to rockets and cars propelled by air pressure.
• Investigate Newton’s Third Law of Motion using thrust produced by falling water, balloon powered rockets and racing cars.
• Explore the action-reaction principle by constructing a balloon-powered pinwheel.
• Demonstrate how several stages of a rocket can operate in steps to propel a rocket.
Lesson Activities and Sequence
- Pop Can Hero Engine
Small student teams will construct water-propelled engines out of soft drink cans and investigate ways to in crease the action-reaction thrust produced.
Keywords: propulsion, engine, thrust
- Rocket Pinwheel
Student teams construct a balloon-powered pinwheel to explore Newton's Third Law, the action-reaction principle.
Keywords: Newton's third law
- Balloon Staging
Two inflated balloons are joined in a way that simulates a multistage rocket launch as they slide along a fishing line on the thrust produced by escaping air.
Keywords: rocket design, staging, thrust
- Rocket Races
Student teams construct racing cars from styrofoam food trays and power them with the thrust of an inflated balloon.
Keywords: thrust, movement, design
National Science Education Standards, NSTA
Science as Inquiry
• Skills necessary to become independent inquirers about the natural world.
• Position and motion of objects.
• Motions and forces.
• Properties of objects and materials.
Science and Technology
• Abilities of technological design.
• Understanding about science and technology.
Common Core State Standards for Mathematics, NCTM
Numbers and Operations
• Understand the place value system.
• Generalize place value understanding for multidigit whole numbers.
Measurement and data
• Convert like measurement units within given measurement system.
• Represent and interpret data.