Through the Rocket Challenge, Room 8 will design, build and launch their own water rockets. Students will learn about Newton’s laws, the forces of flight, the engineering design process, and working as a team.
Room 8 is being supported in this project by Julie Chiquet, a project engineer at Contact Energy. Having a volunteer ambassador to support us through the technical aspects of the project is an advantage and a privilege.
In our first meeting with Julie, students were questioned about their knowledge of geothermal power. Julie outlined in a simple yet informative way how geothermal energy is harnessed and how this form of energy provides approximately 17% of the country's electricity. Students were then able to share their wonderings and ask their own questions. We came to the realisation that the reason our school exists is due to the Wairakei Power Station, the second such power station of its kind to be built in the world.
Students began their work in ‘Mission Control’, a website link which takes them to specific tasks they will do in their ‘space crews’. Teams of 3-6 have been formed and roles established. Students used a guided questionnaire to decide if their strengths lie in being an engineer, scientist, safety officer, or a mixture of all three roles.
There are four steps to the engineering design process and this is what teams will use to bring their rocket ideas into reality.
Most exciting of all, the Wonder Project team sent an actual rocket (a cardboard one), packed full of goodies to support our learning. Safety goggles, fluorescent safety vests, test flights resources, and an actual rocket launcher were all provided free of charge.
Explore the Rocket Challenge website.