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GMG Physics Class launches rockets By Margaret Thomsen

December 6, 2013
Northern-Sun Print
Thirteen students in the GMG High School Physics Class constructed and launched rockets. The day was cloudy, windy, rainy and temps were in the 40’s. All students made at least one successful launch. Some rockets lost a fin during liftoff, which created an unsuual flight pattern. A few parachutes never ejected or ejected too late. According to Instructor Jeff Teske, “One rocket was launched after it had lost all of its fins. The students were able to witness the importance of the fins, as the rocket tumbled end over end immediately after liftoff.” The students took two 90 minute class periods to construct the Skill Level 2 rockets. The students were responsible for cutting balsa wood, sanding, painting and assembly of their individual rockets. Attaching fins - and making sure they stay attached during launch and flight - was a challenge. The final step was packing the shock cord, wadding paper and parachute into the tube body and inserting the plastic nose cone. Mr. Teske added, “The key objective of this activity is to use Galilean equations of motion and calculate the rockets height and liftoff velocity, as well as seeing Physics at work. Galilean equations are variations of the common velocity and acceleration equations. …. By collecting the time it took a rocket to get to its peak height and knowing how fast gravity accelerates us towards the earth, the students could accomplish the objective of calculating altitude and initial velocity. According to our rough calculations the rockets max height was between 118 to 221 feet. Take off velocity fell between 58 and 147 mph.”

Article Photos

The GMG Physics Class, taught by Mr. Jeff Teske, recently constructed and launched rockets. The weather was less than cooperative, but all students had at least one successful launch and recovery. Physics students pictured include: Peyton Mannan, Jennifer Borota, Logan Burt, Nathan Swaim, Chad Plahn, Austin Vaughn, Dillon Slingluff, Devon Schuett, Tyler Krull, Caitlin Appelgate, Luke Petty, Noah Scheidel and Josh Raymond.

 
 

 

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