LDE UTC’s year 9 science and maths learners teamed up with the IASTI department to design and build a water rocket out of recycled plastic bottles. Through the rocket experiment, learners brought many key topics on the science curriculum to life, such as the centre of gravity, the centre of pressure, Newton’s third law and thrust, drag and weight. Learners used Distance-Time graphs from the maths curriculum to present the data gathered from their rocket launch. They also learned about unit conversions to analyse and compare the data.
The employer-led project began with IASTI Trainer, Giovanni de Luca sharing his route into becoming a pilot, as well as experiences with aerospace and technology company L3HARRIS. Learners gained insight into the many skills needed to succeed in the aviation industry, ranging from fluency in written and spoken English, to an in-depth understanding of aerodynamic principles and techniques. Giovanni's interactive session also taught learners the science behind the flight of aircraft.
Inspired by Giovanni’s session, learners placed themselves into teams of three to begin the project. When designing their rockets, learners had to consider aerodynamic principles and the principles taught about forces.
Science teacher and organiser of the project, Mohamed Omar was impressed by the year 9 learners’ enthusiasm and teamwork: “I was proud of all of the learners. They worked well in teams and applied the principles from the course into the design and production of their water rockets really well.” Learners then had the opportunity to launch their water rockets, with the most successful team winning ten achievement points for their model!
By bringing learning to life through this experiment, our year 9s gained a better understanding of vital topics on the curriculum as well as their value in the working world of science and aviation.