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Lesson Title: Nose Cone Aerodynamics
May 11, 2012

Unit: Engineering - Rocketry

Grade Levels: 7-9

Connection To Curriculum: Physical Science, Engineering/Technology and Mathematics

Teacher Prep Time: 30 minutes Rocket Wind Tunnel construction: Add 2 hours

Lesson Time Needed: 1 hour

Complexity Moderate

Keywords: engineering design process, Newton's Laws of Motion, engine, gravity, drag, parachutes, fin, payload, trajectory, stability, launcher rocket,wind tunnel, propulsion, lift, drag, weight, thrust


Adventures in Rocket Science
The original lesson is found on page 90 of this guide. The chart and patterns to be duplicated appear following page 92.
Nose Cone Experts
Nose Cone Distance Traveled Table
Group Procedures and Questions
Paper towel tube
Nose Cone Patterns Worksheet
Yard or meter stick
Several 2-Liter plastic bottles
Modeling clay
Card stock
Leaf blower or vacuum set to exhaust/blow
Books to make pathway
Long hallway or open area

Rocket Wind Tunnel Design
Paper concrete tube form (8 inch or 2 by 4 inch)
Beam balance or electronic scale (sensitive to 0.1 grams)
Balance or weight
Thin wire coat hanger
Nail (about 16 diam. by 3 inch)
2 small screw eyes
Duct tape
Transparency paper or clear cellophane
Small electric fan
Needle-nose pliers and wire cutter
Box cutter
24 toilet paper roll tubes
Hot glue
Adhesive or gummed paper reinforcing rings

Students compare the aerodynamic features of different nose cone designs.

Students will:
• Experiment with different nose cone shapes to determine the advantages and disadvantages of each type. Conic, parabolic and flat shapes will be tested to determine which is most aerodynamic.

First page of Nose Cone Aerodynamics

Lesson Guide
Nose Cone Aerodynamics Lesson
[76KB PDF file]



Lesson Activities and Sequence
Adventures in Rocket Science
Student teams will construct predesigned card stock nose cones from patterns provided in the Adventures In Rocket Science Activity Guide. The wind tunnel simulation is one of the most basic and can be easily modified to create improved airflow, etc.

Drag is measured here as a result of the differing distances the rocket body travels in opposition to the airflow.
Keywords: engineering design process, Newton's Laws of Motion, engine, gravity, drag, parachutes, fin, payload, trajectory, stability, launcher rocket, wind tunnel, propulsion, lift, drag, weight, thrust, aerodynamics
National Standards:

National Science Education Standards, NSTA
Science as Inquiry
• Abilities necessary to do scientific inquiry.
Physical Science
• Position and motion of objects.
• Motions and forces.
Science and Technology
• Abilities of technological design.

Principles and Standards for School Mathematics, NCTM
Math as Problem Solving
• Measurement.
• Number and Operations.
• Data Analysis and Probability.
• Reasoning and Proof.
• Communication.
• Connections.
• Representations.

ISTE NETS and Performance Indicators for Students, ISTE
Creativity and Innovation
Research and Information Fluency
Critical Thinking, Problem Solving and Decision Making


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Page Last Updated: July 28th, 2013
Page Editor: NASA Administrator