National Aeronautics and Space Administration
Center of Mass and Center of Pressure: Engineering a Stable Rocket

This Web Seminar took place on April 23, 2013, from 7:30 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. eastern daylight time. The presenter was Marti Phipps, NASA Explorer Schools Education Specialist at NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory. In this program Ms. Phipps talked about a hands-on activity that allows students to design their own rockets while learning physical science concepts and engineering and math skills.

The PowerPoint, related resources from the NSTA Learning Center, and web links from the presentation are now contained in the above resource collection. Clicking on the collection link will place it in your Learning Center, My Library, neatly organized under the My Resource Collections tab.

This was the second presentation of Center of Mass and Center of Pressure: Engineering a Stable Rocket for the 2012-13 school year. In this seminar Ms. Phipps provided background information about NASA’s efforts to design a new space vehicle and rocket system that can take astronauts deeper into space than ever before. She then shared details about a classroom lesson that gives students a chance to step into the shoes of an engineer by designing, building, and testing their own rockets. Participants got an in-depth look at the Rockets Educator Guide, including information about the history of rocketry, ways to integrate Newton’s Laws into classroom activities, and materials lists. Then participants learned how to guide students in assembling a rocket and collecting data on the launch.

Seminar participants received one of the NSTA SciGuides. A certificate of attendance was deposited into participants' My PD Record and Certificates area in the NSTA Learning Center for completing the evaluation form at the end of the program.

Here are some comments provided by the participants at the end of the Web Seminar:

  • "I really enjoyed it. It gave me some other variable and activities to include."
  • "I believe it will benefit my students and help me to stay abreast of current best practices. Rocket simulator will be a great additional resource."

Thanks to the participants and the presenter for the learning opportunity, the interactions, and a job well done!

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