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The Suburbanite
  • Coventry Erwine students learn about science with rockets

  • About 50 third grade students at Coventry's Erwine Intermediate School built and launched rockets to learn about Isaac Newton's laws of motion.

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  • About 50 third grade students at Coventry's Erwine Intermediate School had fun learning about Isaac Newton's three laws of motion.
    “We had lessons on Newton's three laws and then students built and launched rockets to demonstrate the laws,” Third grade teacher Michelle D'Alessio said,
    The students and teachers, D'Alessio, Seasen Rychlik and Amanda Wood, built the rockets for the project.
    The bodies of the custom rockets were made from two litter plastic bottles, the fins from poster board and duct tape was involved. A washer was placed on top for stability. The rockets were then filled about halfway with water and students pumped them full of air.
    With the help of Jackie Krieger from the Ohio State Extension Office of Summit County, the young rocketeers had to muscle up to pump the necessary 40 to 50 pounds of air into the rockets for a successful liftoff.  Each rocket's hang time was measured and a time of 4.5 seconds seemed to be the time to beat.  Krieger specializes in 4H youth development with the extension program. She said the rocket curriculum was developed by Ohio State.
    Krieger said she takes the extra time for everyone to get a chance to pump.
    “They learn the more air you pump in the harder it is to push the pump handle,” she said.
    The young scientists were also thrilled to find that when the rocket landed there was a cloud inside.
    “Besides having fun shooting off the rockets, the students were then asked how Newton's Laws applied to this project,” said Krieger.
    The laws state that every object in a state of motion tends to remain in that state unless an external force is applied to it. The larger the mass the more force it takes to move it, less weight requires less force so the students kept the rockets light.  For every action there is an opposite and equal reaction. So, if there is two pounds of pressure versus 50 pounds of pressure the flight is not as high or long. “Learning by doing, we call that experiential learning,” said Krieger.
    “Mrs. D'Alessio thought the program was wonderful so she wrote a grant to get me out here to do it,” Krieger said. “The whole idea is to have fun, but to understand that science can be fun and that it is not really hard. We are developing new scientists. Kids who are excited about doing science as it comes to life for them. It is just not on paper,” she said.
    This is the second year for the third grade rocket project. “I was really thrilled with this rocket program last year because they really learned the laws of motion,” said D'Alessio.  The grant was awarded through the Coventry Foundation.
    Page 2 of 2 - “It really makes a difference have Jackie here. This program promotes science and the kids really get it.”