To Infinity & Beyond
Algebra 2 Honors

Grade: 9-10

Jonathan Motta

Rocket Launch 1  

Project Description

Rocket science is without question a complex and costly process. Our Algebra 2 students had the opportunity to model this process by designing and testing their own stomp rockets. Initial rocket designs were created, tested and analyzed using projectile motion and quadratics before the process was revised and completed all over again. Students were able to make comparisons between their rockets through mathematical calculations, graphs and analysis.

Products + Deliverables

Students created a Space Exploration Plan containing the following: 

Theoretical Rocket Purpose: the "Who, What, Where, When and Why?" of your rocket

Stomp Rocket Prototypes: evidence of rocket revisions over time with design choices explained

Mathematical Models: equations, tables, and graphs as evidence of rocket design improvements

Mathematical Analysis: explanations and connections of deliverables back to the challenge question

Download Student Exemplars By Clicking on Arrows

Download 1     Download 2     Download 3

Challenge Question(s)

How are rockets designed and tested in order to prepare for space exploration?

Standards Addressed

I can create equations and inequalities in one variable and use them to solve problems. Include equations arising from linear and quadratic functions.

I can rearrange formulas to highlight a quantity of interest, using the same reasoning as in solving equations.

I can solve quadratic equations in one variable; I can use the method of completing the square to transform any equation into an equation in vertex from.


8 Weeks (Q1)

Teacher Reflection

This project was a very engaging way for students to expand their knowledge of quadratic functions and apply their learning to projectile motion. Students enjoyed designing rockets and using math to prove that their second design was an improvement over the first. It is always helpful when students can collect their own data to work with in a math class. Based on student and community member feedback I already have plans for revising this project to make it even more beneficial next year!

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