# Touchdown - Unit Plan

Grades 6-8 | 8 (45 min) Classes

### Topics Covered

Rate of Descent | Newton's 3rd Law | Parachute Modifications | Velocity

### Essential Question

How does a parachute's design affect the speed of descent of a mdoel rocket?

### Overview

In this lesson, students will answer the question, “How does a parachute’s design affect the speed of descent of a model rocket?” The students will read a story about humans living on Mars in the year 2323. They must design a way to allow a rocket from Earth to land safely on their planet, Estesonia, as the rocket is carrying fragile, photovoltaic cells, their alternate energy source.

Students will hypothesize how the design of a parachute affects the speed of descent of a model rocket. After a review of different types of recovery systems, students will practice what they learned and build and test a parachute prototype. After analyzing the data, students will apply what they have learned to build the Green Eggs Rocket and plan the parachute for their flight. They will state a hypothesis and identify the independent and dependent variables.

After the flight, the students will combine their data into a class data chart to allow better analysis. They will compare the results and determine the answer to the essential question, “How does a parachute’s design affect the speed of descent of a model rocket?”.

The student’s final product will be to complete a Claims-Evidence-Reasoning writing piece supporting their final conclusions. A traditional multiple-choice quiz is included for use if desired.

### Each Student Needs:

• Student Portfolio
• Safety Goggles
• Tape
• Scissors
• Plastic Grocery Bag
• Ruler
• String/ Dental Floss (about 4 feet)
• Toothpick
• Market/Highlighter or Small Toy

### MS-PS2.1

Apply Newton’s Third Law to design a solution to a problem involving the motion of two colliding objects.

### MS-ETS 1-1

Define the criteria and constraints of a design problem with sufficient precision to ensure a successful solution, taking into account relevant scientific principles and potential impacts on people and the natural environment that may limit possible solutions.

### MS-ETS 1-2

Evaluate competing design solutions based on jointly developed and agreed-upon design criteria using a systematic process to determine how well they meet the criteria and constraints of the problem.

### MS-ETS 1-3

Analyze data from tests to determine similarities and differences among several design solutions to identify the best characteristics of each that can be combined into a new solution to better meet the criteria for success.

### MS-ETS 1-4

Develop a model to generate data for iterative testing and modification of a proposed object, tool, or process such that an optimal design can be achieved.

Common Core Standards not available for this lesson plan.

### Live, Online Training and 1:1 Support!

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### APOGEE

The peak altitude or highest point of a rocket’s flight.

### DRAG

The aerodynamic force that opposes an aircraft’s motion through the air.

### GRAVITY

Force that pulls everything down toward the center of the Earth.

### PARACHUTE

Drag-producing device, generally hemispherical (halfsphere) in shape. Parachutes used in model rockets are generally made from light plastic and are used to gently recover the payload package, rocket body, etc.

### RECOVERY SYSTEM

A device incorporated into a model rocket for the purpose of returning it to the ground in a safe manner. All model rockets must employ a recovery system (such as a parachute).

Flame resistant tissue packed between the streamer or parachute and model rocket engine protecting the recovery device from hot ejection gases.

### THRUST

The propulsive force that moves something forward.

### VELOCITY

The rate of motion or speed in a given direction. Measured in terms of distance moved per unit time, in a specific direction.

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### Learn About Model Rocket Safety!

Not sure how to safely launch a rocket with your group? Head over to our dedicated Safety instructions page for videos, support, and more!