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Year 12 BTEC Level 3 Engineering: Prototype rocket launches (February 2017)
Year 12 engineers have been modelling and launching their prototype rockets. All students were tasked with building a rocket as part of UKayRoc "The Great STEM UK Youth Rocketry Challenge."
Students have been working through Unit 3; Engineering Product Design & Manufacture by designing their rockets in their assigned groups. This has encouraged students to work with others that they wouldn't usually work with, giving opportunities to develop team work skills. From this, students have been working through the iterative design process, by modelling and testing over and over until reaching the optimum design for their rocket.
After each test, students record their results into a log book, so they can track and understand the changes made throughout and how it has improved their design. For testing, we went outside in our courtyard and used our rocket launcher to see whose would go the highest. Of course, there was an element of competition, but it wasn't all about whose would win. Students needed to find the centre of gravity in their rocket design, make it stable enough to withstand the elements, and design effective fins and nosecones to ensure their rockets were streamlined. A few rockets were lost along the way on the roof, due to wind direction!
This was a great learning experience for all; a fun and engaging hands-on activity to develop essential skills for this unit. Students will go on to use their knowledge from this, to build their final rocket designs.