Lab Investigation: "Blast Off"

By: Akila M and Sruthi A

Problem

Does the weight of a rocket affect the distance that it can travel?

Research

This is what we read that got us interested.

"The equation that describes the weight of an object is the same whether you talk about a rock, rocket, or airplane." -from http://exploration.grc.nasa.gov/education/rocket/wteq.html

We wanted to know how this equation that can apply to everything matters. Does the weight of an object change the distance that it travels? Does the weight affect anything else? We realized that this dealt with astronaut's lives and many other real life situations that could help us later. We know that certain rides at parks and other places require a minumum and maximum weight; we wanted to know if a rocket's weight is related to this. Ultimately we wanted to know if calculating and understanding weight matters.

Hypothesis

If the rocket has more weight, then the rocket will travel less distance.

Materials

We will use.........

the foam rocket

the balance/weighing machine

a yard stick

a calculator

gram weights


Procedures

1.Weigh the rocket in grams

2.Fly the rocket three times and note down the information (distance in centimeters)

3. Attach one gram (into the back of the rocket); fly it three times and put down the information

4. Attach five grams; fly it three times and note down the information

5. Attach ten grams; fly it three times and note down the information

6. Average all of the distances for each weight and compare them



Data and Calculations

Conclusions

Claim-If the rocket has more weight, then it will fly a shorter distance. Our hypothesis was accurate.

Evidence-We weighed the rocket by itself, with 10 grams, with 20 grams, and thirty grams. We flew the rocket with each amount three times and measured the distance in centimeters. We then averaged the distances. We found that the rocket by itself travels 542 cm. When it has 10 grams it flies 227 cm, with 20 grams it flies 270 cm, and with 30 grams it flies 243 cm.

Reasoning-So we can conclude that the more weight the rocket has the less distance it travels. Next time we may want to add different amounts of grams or we may want to also see how the speed is affected.