# ROCKET LAUNCH VEHICLE

### DIMENSIONS OF CURRICULUM

Content: From a real world description of a test on a rocket launch vehicle, graph the path of the flight and discusss whether it is a function.

Product: A graph of the test flight of the rocket. A letter written to White Sands Army Base requesting an actual path of the rocket, and requesting any information about the testing program.

Process: Knowledge - using the coordinate plane; Evaluation - infer the shape of the path from the written description provided on the internet.

LEARNING OBJECTIVE: In their study of parabolas in Algebra I or II, and in their study of functions, students will create a graph of the path of a rocket launch vehicle and write a description of the path, using the internet as a source of the written description of the test.

DESCRIPTION OF ACTIVITY: The teacher will

• Discuss the role of NASA in research. Display NASA posters.Create some interest in the problem.
• Ask the students to call up the URL on the Internet and to read the first article. Discuss it. {Alternate method: copy the files on a disk and make a paper copy of the data for classroom use.}
• Using groups of two, ask the students to study the path of the rocket. They are to graph the path of the rocket in the first quadrant of the coordinate plane.
• Each student must write a description of the path they have chosen and explain their thinking.
• Each student will write a letter to White Sands Army Base, requesting a graph of the actual path, along with some information on the testing of the experimental launch vehicle.

MATERIALS: Graph paper, notebook paper, internet connection

ENVIRONMENT:Groups of two.

http://teachertech.rice.edu/Lessons/jcasey/Space.html

Last updated on April 10, 1997 by Debbie Campbell (dcamp@cs.rice.edu).

These pages were developed through GirlTECH, a teacher training and student technology council program sponsored by the Center for Research on Parallel Computation (CRPC), a National Science Foundation Science and Technology Center.