The 4th graders at Willow Creek Elementary and their amazing teacher, Lisa Heaton, took a lesson out of the books, literally, and tested their rocket-building skills.
They read Homer Hickam’s book, Rocket Boys. Then they set out on their own to design and build a rocket out of construction paper, tape and clay. That’s it. No engines or explosives helped launch these rockets into the air. They simply used air pressure.
I first learned how to make the PVC Rocket Launcher several years ago while speaking to teachers at Space Camp for Educators in Huntsville, Alabama. This hands-on rocket activity is an extension of the normal space unit that is standard at this grade level across the school district.
Each student was given two launch tries. Some of the rocket designs were great while others just blew up on the launch pad. For those that failed the first attempt, they had to go back to the drawing board to reanalyze their designs, fix the flaws and head back out for the second launch. The success rate for