Science Sunday: Experimenting with Model Rockets, part 3: Designing Rockets and the Scientific Method

With the practice of using clinometers behind them, we could begin to work on the rockets themselves. I had made one of the rockets in advance so that they could see the control on which their variations would be based. Their task was to create a rocket with one variation from the control rocket that would make it fly higher than the control rocket. We reviewed the scientific method.

The scientific method starts with observation. Observation allows the scientist to collect data. Once enough data has been collected, the scientist forms a hypothesis that attempts to explain some facet of the data or attempts to answer a question the scientist asks.

To assist the students in their data collection, I gave them a series of facts about model rockets.

  • The lighter a rocket is, the higher it will go.
  • If you increase the volume of a rocket, it will also increase altitude.
  • Streamlining the body of the rocket will reduce drag.
  • Smoothing the edges of the fins reduces drag.
  • Less fins will result in less weight and therefore drag on the rocket.
  • Fins that are larger than they need to be adds drag and weight to the rocket.
  • An unstable rocket will not fly straight and will not fly as high. Fins add stability to a rocket.
  • While elliptical shaped fins have the lowest drag for full-sized planes, for model rockets, a rectangular or parallelogram shaped fin seems to be the best shape to ensure lower overall drag.

I pointed out the number of fins, the way they were glued on and the length of the body tube are the variables that they needed to think about when thinking about making their rockets, reminding them that each rocket could differ from the control rocket in only one way.  We reviewed the fact that this is the only way to conduct a good experiment because if a rocket had more than one variable and it flew higher,  we wouldn't know which of the variables led to the rocket flying higher. They were assigned to design their rocket's variable as homework to bring to class next week for approval before the actual rocket construction began. They also needed to be able to say why they thought that the variable they chose would result in a higher altitude for their rocket. This would be their hypothesis.
With the remainder of class, we practiced using the clinometers on moving objects. We used a rubber ball and a Styrofoam ball and I posed the question: If thrown with the same force, which would go higher, a rubber ball or a Styrofoam ball? I had the students make predictions and then we went outside to conduct the experiment with the students using their clinometers to apply what they have been learning. 
I had drawn a circle on the playground with an 8 meter radius using an 8 meter length of string and a piece of chalk, using a string like a compass. 
I divided the class into two teams. Team A stood on one side of the circle and Team B stood on the other side of the circle. I stood in the middle of the circle and threw first the rubber and then the Styrofoam ball straight up as fast as I could. Students, using their clinometers, measured the angles and wrote them down. Next week we will use the measurements to analyze the results of the experiment. 

sources and resources:

  • Experimenting with Model Rockets GEMS Teacher's Guide
  • Exploring Creation with General Science



What science studies have you been doing?

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March 20-26, 2015 Our Homeschool Weekly Report, week 21

March 20-26

week 21
This week was a mixture of review and learning new things.
This week we learned about Bolivia for World Geography and Culture. 
We learned about the Anglo-Saxons in our Medieval history studies. (post coming)
We reviewed our English work (The Logic of English).

Alex finished his two-panel "mural" of the world as sort of a final exam in his painting studies.
We played math games for review.

Quentin and James wrote in their science journals about the scientific method. We finished up our plans for our rocket experiments at our co-op (post on that coming) and began making them.

We also rehearsed our play, Keeper of the Tales at co-op.

This week also had Purple Day or Seizure Awareness Day. We are blessed to have our epileptic children's seizures under control, but not all children do. Learn more about seizures at Faith Hope and Love or at This Simple Home. 

What did you do this week?
Join me at...
Don't forget the Memes here at All Things Beautiful:
  • History and Geography on Thursdays
  • Science on Sundays

123..I Can Paint! Tying Together Our Painting Lessons with a Mural

For Alex's final acrylic painting project, I wanted to include all the skills we had covered over the last few weeks. For this project you will need one large or two surfaces to paint on. We used two canvases, but you could use paper instead. You will also need paint and paintbrushes.
First paint your backgrounds. I wanted to use two different methods, so I had Alex paint one canvas blue and one green.

I printed out maps for North and South America and cut them out to make a stencil for Alex to paint the land areas on the blue canvas.
Let this dry.
I also printed out maps of Africa and part of Europe. I cut these out, too, but used the cut outs to paint around instead of the sea areas. Alex painted in the blue sea on the green canvas.
Let this dry.
See the differences? Which do you like better?

Once that was dry, Alex used the same method he used for the Bird's Eye View painting to paint in various fields. Once that was dry, he used a quarter of a regular sponge to dab on areas of yellow for the desert warm areas of the world and white for the cold, icy areas of the world. He also painted in a couple of ice burgs floating in the water as well as some waves with white paint.
He painted a sun in the middle of the two paintings and used white and purple to make the sky, rounded to hint at the horizon. He used a toothbrush to flick on some yellow, white and purple specks, like he did in Fireworks Sky, to look like sunrise. We let this dry.
Over the next several days, we painted in various landmarks and fun things on the painting.
Using the same method he used for his Busy and Bright City Street painting, Alex painted in buildings for Los Angeles and New York.
The black line is supposed to be Route 66. There are also Redwood trees in Northern California and Palm trees in Florida. There is a shark out in the ocean with red and yellow fish he is trying to catch. These fish were not done in the same way as he did his Underwater World painting, but they were put in the painting to remind us of that painting as well. Last, but not least, there is Santa with his sleigh flying over.

He painted a whale spouting water, a castle in Germany, the Eiffel Tower in France and Big Ben in England. There is also a Loch Ness monster although I don't think he quite got the placement of Scotland right. 
Note that the Sea Monster's tail ends up in the previous painting near the Chesapeake Bay, where we call the Sea Monster there Chessie.

There is a tug boat, a pyramid in Egypt and the Nile snaking it's way through Africa.

You could let your imagination go wild with your finishing touches...a UFO instead of Santa, colorful houses, cars, flowers...anything you like. You could use the same technique as was used in Purple Mountains Majesty to make mountains.

sources and resources:
  • 123...I Can Paint, Irene Luxbacher


History and Geography Meme What You Have Been Doing this March

All Things Beautiful


Highhill Education

The Tiger Chronicle


antarctica button
Angelicscalliwags


history of saint patricks day
Adventures in Mommydom


Marie's Pastiche


Michelle's Charm World


A homeschooling month in Spain
Navigating By Joy



What history and geography studies have you been doing this week?


I have really enjoyed the community of homeschoolers we have built here and I encourage you to check out the links you may not have seen and make a comment on the posts.

As always I hope that you continue to link your new (and old) posts with any history and geography topic to this meme every Thursday.

Don't forget to link up to the Multicultural Kids Blog's Blog Hop each month.


  Remember that I am pinning all posts to Pinterest.
You might want to check out the Pinterest board and see all the past posts.
Follow Phyllis Bergenholtz's board History and Geography Meme on Pinterest.

Please include this button on either the post you have linked or your sidebar or mention All Things Beautiful History and Geography meme in your post with a link. All posts that do not link directly to a history or geography post will be deleted.
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World Geography and Culture: The Americas: Bolivia

source
This week we learned about Bolivia. We colored maps, noting that Bolivia is next to Brazil, which we studied last week. 
We looked at a relief map and noted the mountains through Bolivia.


source
"As the airplane passed over the snowy peaks, in the half-light of dusk, they seemed only a few hundred feet below us; beyond them La Paz came into view,  a bowl of lights sunk in the dark expanse of the altoplano. We descended through shafts of lightning from an electrical storm to a runway 12,000 feet above sea-level. The air is cold and thin at this altitude. The effort of carrying my bags up to the third floor hotel room was exhausting and my sleep full of nightmares. "- World Food Cafe
source
Bolivian Flag
We also ate a Bolivian stew, which I adapted slightly so that I could cook it in a crockpot. We enjoyed it and plan to add to our regular menu, so I thought I would share my adaption with you.



Bolivian Corn Stew
(adapted from the recipe at World Food Cafe by Chris and Carolyn Caldicott)

3 carrots, peeled and diced
3 Potatoes, peeled and diced
4 Tab olive oil
2 Onions, Chopped
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 jalapeño, finely chopped
1 can petite diced tomatoes
1 Tab sweet paprika
1 1/2 tea turmeric
leaves from 1 handful fresh oregano, Chopped
handful of parsley sprigs, Chopped
1 bag fresh Spinach or Spinach and baby kale mix, Chopped
4 ears fresh corn, cut into 1 inch rounds
2 cups Vegetable stock
salt and pepper to taste
handful of cilantro leaves, Chopped, for garnish

Put everything in a large pot or slow cooker and simmer until vegetables are soft; about 4 hours on high in the crock-pot.
Serve garnished with the chopped cilantro and accompanied by crusty bread and a leafy green salad.

Experimenting with Model Rockets, part 2: Using Clinometers

Last week we made and calibrated our clinometers in order to have instruments that will measure the heights the rockets we will construct will attain. This week we practiced using the clinometers to determine the height of the basketball net's pole. First we measured the distance between the base of the basketball net's pole and where we would be sighting our clinometers from 8 meters away. We used a piece of string 8 meters long and stretched it out from the base of the basketball net's pole and chalked a mark, making a semi-circle.


The students then stood with their toes on the line and sighting their clinometers to the top most point of the basketball net's pole. They then noted this number, using the term degrees after their number, in their notebooks. Any student whose number differs from the others by 10 degrees or more should be helped either by another student or by the teacher.



Once inside you can remind them that the clinometers measure the angular height of an object in degrees, but that they can couple this measurement with the baseline measurement they made (from the base of the pole to where they stood, or in this case, 8 meters) to determine the figure out the linear height of the pole above ground. To do this, we made a graph using the Height Finder chart in the GEMS Height-O-Meters Teacher's guide. As we are taking our measurements from eye level and not ground level, to accurately determine the measurement, you must add the eye-level measurements for each clinometer user taken during the first class. 
Now that they understand how to do triangulation, during the next class we will be designing our rockets.

What science studies have you been doing?

I am pinning all posts to Pinterest.

Please include All Things Beautiful Science Sunday Meme in your post with a link
All posts that do not link directly to a science related post will be deleted.

March 13-19, 2015 Our Homeschool Weekly Report, week 20

March 13-19

This week we celebrated Saint Patrick's Day by having an Irish dinner and game night with with friends.
We celebrated Super Pi Day (3.1415) by reviewing what pi is and eating pie, of course.
We rehearsed our play and designed our model rockets at our co-op.
The kids worked on their Mission Possible projects.
week 20
In our regular home studies, we learned about the scientific method, particularly focusing on the importance of controls. We reviewed Saint Patrick and Medieval Ireland.
Alex began an new art project, this time a mural of sorts -a two paneled painting of the world.

What did you do this week?

Join me at...
Don't forget the Memes here at All Things Beautiful:
  • History and Geography on Thursdays
  • Science on Sundays

History and Geography Meme: Medieval Ireland


We are studying the Middle Ages this year and so this week we took a look at Medieval Ireland. Ireland was inhabited mainly by Gaelic Celts, but because the tribes were not united, they frequently feuded and had wars between the tribes. Then, in 432, a man arrived who changed the course of Irish history...
Saint Patrick.

He converted Irish Chieftains to Christianity and preached peace.
In 795 the Vikings raided the island and for the next forty years destroyed the monasteries that Saint Patrick had established. The invaders eventually settled down and began mixing with the Irish peoples.
Then in 1170 the Normans invaded and they, too, began intermarrying with the Irish. In 1366, however, Lionel, who was then the self-proclaimed English governor of Ireland, ordered the Irish-Norman families to stop speaking to the Gaelic and marrying them. This demand was not accepted and the English were then looked upon as interfering foreigners.


similar posts:


What history and geography studies have you been doing this week?

I have really enjoyed the community of homeschoolers we have built here and I encourage you to check out the links you may not have seen and make a comment on the posts.

As always I hope that you continue to link your new (and old) posts with any history and geography topic to this meme every Thursday.

Don't forget to link up to the Multicultural Kids Blog's Blog Hop each month.


  Remember that I am pinning all posts to Pinterest.
You might want to check out the Pinterest board and see all the past posts.
Follow Phyllis Bergenholtz's board History and Geography Meme on Pinterest.

Please include this button on either the post you have linked or your sidebar or mention All Things Beautiful History and Geography meme in your post with a link. All posts that do not link directly to a history or geography post will be deleted.
All Things Beautiful