Pangyo middle school students enjoy Wheel classes, a yearlong rotation of different classes like computer programming, art, and engineering. Here Erik McDonel, middle school Engineering/ Robotics/ Science teacher, tells us about rocket building.
Our sixth grade wheel engineering students are making rockets. Their goal is to make the rocket that stays in the air the longest. Since we’re using the Stanford Design Cycle, students have been ideating rocket designs, building prototypes, testing those prototypes, and then going back to the drawing board. We’ve launched every week, and we’ve been seeing the average rocket times slowly increasing. The launch that counts is the final launch at the end of the school year. In the video, you can see a typical launch.
I enjoy this wheel class, because it really gives kids a chance to design something, see it fail, and then have multiple trials to improve their rocket until it’s really good. I think that sort of thing builds resilience and problem-solving abilities! The kids like it too, especially when their rockets go up!