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Lesson Title: Jet Propulsion
May 11, 2012

Unit: Physical Science - Aeronautics

Grade Levels: 4-6

Connection To Curriculum: Science, Mathematics and Technology

Teacher Prep Time: 2 hours

Lesson Time Needed: 2 hours

Complexity Advanced

Keywords: thrust, engine


Part 1
Intake Station

Small desk fan
One sheet of paper
Intake Station Directions
Compression Station
Butcher paper
Two desk fans that are the same size
Twenty 6-inch lengths of string
Twenty 5-by-7-inch index cards
Two markers
Compression Station Directions
Combustion Station
Flask, medium size
Can of Sterno, Matches or lighter
Combustion Station Directions
Part 2
One cardboard paper towel core per student
One flexible straw per student
One 12- by-12-inch sheet of aluminum foil per student
Four paper circles 1-1/2 inches in diameter per student
One small (1-inch) paper clip per student
One 3-oz. paper cup per student
One pair of scissors per student
Glue (not glue sticks)
One copy of the Student Work Sheet Part 2 for each student

Students will build a model to demonstrate how thrust is created in a jet engine.

Students will:
• Investigate how thrust is created in a jet engine.
• Design a model jet engine.
• Construct a model jet engine from materials provided.
• Observe how their model jet engine operates.

First page of Jet Propulsion

Lesson Guide
Jet Propulsion Lesson
[93KB PDF file]



Lesson Activities and Sequence
Jet Propulsion
Have students complete data sheets that apply the scientific method. At each station, students should:

  1. Describe the experiment (Research Question).
  2. Predict what will happen before doing the experiment (Hypothesis).
  3. Conduct the experiment (Experiment).
  4. Record your observations (Data Collection).
  5. Option: The teacher demonstration of an operational jet engine can be done using inexpensive, locally obtained, recycled materials.

Keywords: engine, thrust

National Standards:

National Science Education Standards, NSTA
Science as Inquiry
• Understanding of scientific concepts.
• An appreciation of "how we know" what we know in science.
• Understanding of the nature of science.
• Skills necessary to become independent inquirers about the natural world.
• The dispositions to use the skills, abilities and attitudes associated with science.

Physical Science
• Properties and changes of properties in matter.
• Motions and forces.
• Transfer of energy.

Science and Technology
• Abilities of technological design.
• Understanding about science and technology.

History and Nature of Science
• Science as a human endeavor.

Common Core State Standards for Mathematics, NCTM
Operations and Algebraic Thinking
• Use the four operations with whole numbers to solve problems.
• Generate and analyze patterns.
• Analyze patterns and relationships.
• Write and interpret numerical expressions.

ISTE NETS and Performance Indicators for Students, ISTE
Creativity and Innovation
• Create original works as a means of personal or group expression.
• Use models and simulations to explore complex systems and issues.

Communication and Collaboration
• Contribute to project teams to produce original works or solve problems.

Research and Information Fluency


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