Rocket High

Elizabeth Kelly Pilsen Community Academy
1420 W. 17th Street
Chicago IL 60607
(312) 535-7675


Students will reinforce their measurement skills. Students will manipulate
a launcher to create specific angles. Students will be introduced to the
concept of tangents. This is for the 7th and 8th grades.


Each group of four students will need:
-A water rocket and a pump.
-Launchers to rest the rockets against.
-Protractors to measure the angles at the launch site.
-A tape measure.


1. Students will determine what angle will launch water rockets to the
highest altitude. Students will use the tangents of angles to determine the
height. The angles to be used are 30, 45, 60, 75, and 90. Students will launch
the rockets at the five different angles listed above. Use two ounces of water
for each launch and pump 15 times.
2. Students will measure the distance from the launch site to the spot
where the rocket is at it's highest altitude.
3. Students will record this data. Example: 30 degrees, 14 ft.
4. Students will then find the altitude by using the formula tangent of the
angle = opposite/adjacent. Example: tan 30=x/distance from launch site to
highest altitude.

Performance Assessment:

Students will turn in their finished data sheet. Observations of the
students will be noted during the experiments to determine their use and
understanding of a protractor. Students will need to use data from a chart and
record accurate data in order to complete their data sheet.


For the purpose of this experiment, air resistance and wind will be
ignored. Students will learn that the rockets will reach the highest altitude
when the rockets are shot from the higher degree of angles.


Sneider, Cary I. Experimenting with Model Rockets. The Regents of the
University California. Berkeley, California. 1989.

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