If I Had a Boat (Sailing Curriculum Unit)

In my middle school/junior high class, we’ve been exploring the relationship between sails, force, momentum, foam boats and area.  I’ve used the unit to assess the graphing labs we conducted last quarter and introduce non-linear graphs. I began the unit by asking students to research old sailing boats and draw conclusions from the material they gathered.  The students completed a K-W-L chart.  I then introduced the question: what is the most efficient sail? After some fits and starts (we have been doing some standardized testing practice to get ready for this week’s Stanford tests) we realized we needed to ask … Continue reading If I Had a Boat (Sailing Curriculum Unit)

STEM Project: The CO2 Rocket Car

This is my favorite project from this month’s STEM Fair.  A student of mine decided to build CO2 Rocket cars.  I loved building one of these in middle school.  I distinctly remember my simple teardrop design coming in last and remarking – well, that’s unfair.  I didn’t know I could do THAT! – when I saw the winners thin, stretchy, leggy thing.  I looked like a duck next to a greyhound. Last time, my teacher bought a kit.  This time, I chose a simple design for this piece – a pine wedge cut from a 2×4, 1/4 inch dowels as … Continue reading STEM Project: The CO2 Rocket Car