One small step for Kromrey students
Seventh-graders at Kromrey Middle School got a little taste of what it's like to be an astronaut this week.
Technology Education teacher Jeremy Dimpfl had his students build and launch rockets as part of the aerospace/engineering unit they are completing.
"My students discovered the effects of air on a rocket in flight, identified the different forces that act on a rocket during its flight, and also recognized historical people associated with the space industry,'' he said.
A new element Dimpfl added this year is a STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) activity used for calculating the altitude of the rocket. Through optical tracking, the students built a simple inclinometer using a sight, weight, string, and a protractor-like device to find an angle to use in a basic trigonometry formula.
By using the the formula A = d x Φ, where A is the Altitude, d is the distance away from the launch pad, and Φ is the tangent of the angle found using their inclinometer, students calculated the altitude of their flight, he said.
"Many of the students have had very little if any experience with trigonometry, but very soon figured out that this is a very real life way to incorporate math into a simple activity,'' Dimpfl said.
Dimpfl said it hasn't been difficult getting his students to focus interested in the unit. Neal Armstrong, who in 1969 became the first person to walk on the moon, died on Aug. 25, while an unmanned Russian cargo ship docked at the universal space station in August, the first time a same-day docking has been accomplished att he massive orbiting outpost.
Meanwhile, Austrian skydiver Felix Baumgartner set three world records on Sunday, including skydiving from 23 miles and becoming the first person to exceed the speed of sound without a vehicle.
"Aeropace is very much on the forefront of technology right now,'' he said.