Year 8 Rocket Scientists
November 19, 2021
How do we explore the universe? Our Year 8 Science students have been learning about the connection between chemical reactions and astronomy. In a hands-on experiment they have created ethanol powered bottle rockets that mimic the jet propulsion used in space exploration. By controlling the diameter of the exhaust, the students are able to adjust the energy produced by the rocket.
“While experiments involving igniting flammable liquids in a bottle and 13-year-old students can be nerve-wracking for a teacher, hands-on experience is, put simply, a more engaging way to learn. Hands-on examples of core concepts are registered by the student as holistic experiences, giving the student’s mind more “anchors” to tie the memory to” said Science teacher Dr Golan
Australia has been at the forefront of space knowledge for millennia, as home to the world’s oldest continuous culture, astronomical events from the distant past are recorded in the story and song of our First Nations Peoples. More recently, Australia was one of the leading nations at the beginning of the Space Age, with the Woomera Rocket Range playing a crucial role in technology development. The Parkes Radio Telescope was instrumental in broadcasting the first Moon landing in 1969, and most recently the Square Kilometer Array in South Australia and Western Australia will soon be providing some of the most detailed images of our solar system ever created.
While this is one small step for our students, they may very well find themselves one day working alongside TIGS Alumnus Benjamin Morrell at the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory expanding our knowledge of the universe.