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Glen Cove Record Pilot • Schools

Students Investigate Rockets

Mrs. Kelly’s eighth-grade science research class and Mr. Slack’s Robotics & Automation class at North Shore Middle School joined forces to study how and why rockets work. Each student constructed and launched a rocket powered by an A-8 engine.


Using the scientific method, students investigated the question “Can the number of fins on a model rocket change the apogee of the rocket flight?” Apogee is the term used for the highest point of a rocket flight.  During the lab investigation, students were introduced to trigonometry and used an instrument to measure the angle of elevation in order to calculate the height of their rocket.


Using their findings, the students completed their calculations and graphs while following NYS Regents exam formats.  Mrs. Kelly and Mr. Slack’s classes were able to utilize their specific class skill sets to help their peers think critically and solve problems. At the end of the lesson, students were hypothesizing what would happen if they changed a different variable such as; engine size, fin shape or body tube length.