To bring together the math, science and computer departments
of participating schools to complete a team project centered
on the NASA space exploration program. This program will not
only give students a taste of the interesting work that can
be done in math, science and computers, it will also give
them experience in working on a project driven team.
Target Audience: Grades six through eight.
Sequence of Events:
- Day One
- Review of NASA space exploration program.
- Overview of team competition.
- Team Selection
- Day Two
- Review of individual team projects.
- Review of basic concepts pertinent to each team.
- Day Three
- Day Four
- Coordinate with other teams to integrate project
- Day Five
- Team competitions and awards.
Our basic STEM plan has three (3) separate parts. It is centered
around a “NASA Week” at the participating schools.
Our plan will bring together the mathematics, science and
computer departments in each school. The classes will spend
one week on building an interdisciplinary project that illustrates
the interesting applications of math and science. Each team
will work on one aspect of the problem. One team will work
on the math unit, another team will work on the computer unit
and another team will work on the science unit.
The team project will be to build a model rocket. The construction
and operation of the rocket will serve as a gateway to the
world of practical applications of math and science. The teachers
will be encouraged to mix the teams up to expose students
to groups they may not have been exposed to.
The Science department will be responsible for the building,
and testing of model rockets. They will also be responsible
for teaching basic principles of flight. This is to give the
students some insight, and to give them ideas on how to make
their rockets better overall performers. This may be accomplished
by adding fins, reshaping the nose cone, shortening the rocket,
or any other ideas they may think of. The actual testing will
be attended by all students, as each will have a reason to
be there, depending on which element of the project they are
The Math department will be responsible for the teaching
of several simple formulas related to rocketry, such as distance,
acceleration, velocity, and possibly also how to calculate
the distance the rocket traveled. All of the info will be
included in the project packets that are sent out for “NASA
The Computer department will be responsible for teaching
the students to modify a simple single page web page, which
will be sent as part of the project package. The basic page
will be supplied, with instructions to allow the teams to
change the backgrounds, fonts, colors, as well as how to put
the data obtained from the calculations (pre-flight and post-flight)
onto the page for others to see.
The program is designed to be run as a contest. The individual
categories of the contest will be left up to the teachers.
The teachers running the contest would base the judging on
each individual area, and then the overall score from each
team deciding the winner. There wouldn’t have to be
any elaborate prizes, maybe some certificates, or possibly
some NASA materials (posters, key chains, etc.)
We feel that the overall experience would teach students
about teamwork in a math and science based environment, and
show a glimpse of the interesting possibilities in these fields.
We are certain that every student involved will remember this
project week for many years to come.