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  • In this activity, students investigate the motion of a rocket using a spreadsheet with graphs of motion included. They adjust variables and investigate how height and speed are affected.

    By the end of this activity, students should be able to:

    • investigate at least one variable that affects the height reached by a rocket
    • gradually change that variable and describe how motion is affected by that change
    • interpret graphs to describe what is happening to the height and speed of a rocket during each stage of its flight.

    Download the Word file (see link below) for:

    • introduction/background notes
    • what you need
    • what to do
    • student record sheet.

    Download the Rocket graphs of motion Excel spreadsheet (see link below).

    Activity idea

    Explore the ideas of force and thrust further in the Rocket launch challenge activity. Your challenge is to make the rocket go as high as possible and launch a payload 400 km above the ground.

    Related content

    This Connected article is based on an interview with Rocket Lab Avionics Manager Naomi Altman and explores the science and technology behind the amazing achievements of Rocket Lab.

      Published 30 November 2011 Referencing Hub articles
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