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How do propellants generate thrust?

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How do propellants generate thrust?

Is Lesson Plan High School

Sensemaking Checklist

What is Sensemaking?

Sensemaking is actively trying to figure out how the world works (science) or how to design solutions to problems (engineering). Students do science and engineering through the science and engineering practices. Engaging in these practices necessitates that students be part of a learning community to be able to share ideas, evaluate competing ideas, give and receive critique, and reach consensus. Whether this community of learners is made up of classmates or family members, students and adults build and refine science and engineering knowledge together.

Lesson Snapshot

High school students, as scientists, investigate what happens at both the macroscopic and atomic scales of chemical reactions to answer questions that they have about generating thrust. Students launch a model rocket and view a slow-motion video to observe the fuel burning. Next, they plan a simulation using magnets to model the changes in energy that occur when connections between atoms (bonds) are broken or formed. 

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This lesson is Lesson 2 of the Combustion of Rocket Propellants Playlist.


Student Materials

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Teacher Materials

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Asset 2