Sixth grade students at Lanigan Elementary School are having a real ‘blast’ in class this school year. The students, turned budding scientists, tackled an out-of-this-world science project where they each crafted and launched their very own rocket.
The school’s sixth grade teachers coordinate a rocketry project each year in conjunction with the classroom study of Isaac Newton’s three laws of motion:
1) an object at rest will stay at rest unless an external force acts upon it and conversely, an object in motion will stay in motion unless an external force acts upon it.
2) force is equal to mass times acceleration of an object; and
3) for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction.
The students construct model rockets over the course of several school days using kits from the Onondaga-Cortland-Madison BOCES Science Center and then the teachers host a NASA-inspired launch day for the students.
Parents are invited to join the students for their launch day and many of the younger grade levels at the school join the excitement as spectators.
Participation in the project gives students hands-on experience in the understanding of gravity and propulsion as well as gives them an opportunity to learn about electricity and aerodynamics.