The Foundations of Science and Technology classes at Brown Elementary experimented with several projects including constructing and the scientific testing of kites, rockets, and airplanes. Classes identified questions that could be answered using scientific investigations. Students utilized appropriate tools and techniques to gather, analyze and interpret data. Through these projects students learned about the importance of mathematics in all aspects of scientific inquiry.

Following printed instructions and templates, students used straws, tissue paper, glue, and string to construct kites. When completed, the kites formed a tetrahedron, a three-dimensional object that has four triangular faces. On a warm day, students took their kites outside and learned firsthand how air moves across the surface of the kite wings to provide lift.

Classes made rockets out of drinking straws, cards, and clay and investigated the effect length has on the rockets’ range. Students were able to design rockets, determining the number and shape of fins, rocket length, and nose cone shape. Using the scientific method, students made a hypothesis about the relationship between the rocket length and its range. Each rocket was launched and the range was measured. The results were recorded on a data sheet and analyzed. Students interpreted their findings and wrote conclusions based on the data collected.

Using a variety of materials, including rubber bands, balsa wood, cardboard, glue, and a propeller, students constructed model airplanes. They developed an understanding of basic engineering design and applied this process in building their models. The students varied the number of winds of the rubber band motor to investigate the effects of elastic potential energy and kinetic energy relating to the airplane’s range. To test the hypothesis, students measured and recorded their model’s range after each launching. Through this project students applied techniques and tools to accurately find length, area, volume, and angle measures to appropriate levels of precision.