The Newton-Conover Academically/Intellectually Gifted students at South Newton, North Newton, and Shuford Elementary Schools had a “blast” as they successfully launched their model rockets during the week of May 4th, culminating their 2014 – 15 AIG enrichment! The six week rocket science study began with a field trip to UNC – Charlotte on March 19th for an exciting introduction to rocketry and engineering, presented by the university’s award winning Senior Design NASA Launch Team and Rocketry Club. Over the course of the unit, students observed the principles of Newton’s Laws of Motion, studied mass, drag, thrust and fundamental aerodynamics and participated in various experiments with alka-seltzer, bottle and straw rockets.
Students spent several class periods constructing and personalizing their model rockets, followed by a review of the NAR rocketry safety protocol, analysis of altitude data tracking, and launch site engine preparation. “By engaging students in active cross-curricular problem-solving and providing opportunities for hands-on, complex inquiry, all students, especially those who have academic gifts, will develop critical thinking that fosters meaningful, deep learning,” noted Jan Freeman, NCCS AIG Specialist. “Hopefully the thrill of rocketry has triggered engineering, design, or science career interests for some of these young learners.”