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Estes Rocket Challenge

david_kurtzdavid_kurtz Member Posts: 24 EDU
edited April 2019 in Instructor Discussion
This project has students use OnShape to design model rockets.  We 3D print completed rockets and launch them.  

I have students to their initial rocket designs using OpenRocket. This free software is easy to use and helps students make aerodynamically stable rockets.  

I have students work alone if we have small class sizes.  If we have a large class, I have student work with a partner.  In this case, I have each student design every other part (student A makes the bottom tube, B makes the fins and top tube, A makes the Nose cone). This requires the students to coordinate their designs and takes advantage of OnShape's usefulness as a collaborative design platform.  

Students must peer-review one another's designs before projects are 3D printed.  This involves checking the drawing files to see that all parts will fit and that the design is ready to go into production.  In the event that a rocket does not assemble correctly after 3D printing, I give the students a pair of calipers, the 3D printed parts and the drawing files.  They then need to check to see if the problem is a result of poor design or poor manufacturing.


  • john_doubledayjohn_doubleday Member Posts: 58 EDU
    What year level would you do this rocket project. Have you got any images of student work?
  • david_kurtzdavid_kurtz Member Posts: 24 EDU
    I do this with grades 9-12.  The students usually keep their printed rockets (or lose them in the woods), so this is the only completed one that I have.  
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