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This is a simple and fun “Launch an Eggonaut” physics team activity

Subjects:

Math, Science  

Grades:

7, 8, 9  

Title – The Eggonaut
By – Brad Clarke
Primary Subject – Science
Secondary Subjects – Math
Grade Level – 7 – 9

Note from LessonPlansPage.com: New images, a link, and a description have been added to the bottom of this lesson (describing how to build a launch pad).

THE EGGONAUT LAUNCH

DESCRIPTION

Participants design and construct a rocket made from a 2 liter pop bottle which will launch one RAW, grade A, large egg with the purpose of keeping the egg intact (unbroken) and aloft for a maximum length of time.

NUMBER OF PARTICIPANTS

Usually two per team, but one is okay if class is uneven.

THE COMPETITION

Each team will be responsible for bringing all materials necessary to build their Eggonaut Rocket. Only 2-liter bottles may be used and no metal pieces will be added. After constructing the rocket, your teacher will determine if your rocket is safe for launching. If it is unsafe, your teacher will tell you WHY it is unsafe and you may make modifications.

MATERIALS WHICH MAY BE USED

  • 2-liter pop bottles (any color, but the newer the better)
  • Grade A extra large egg (2 would be great, just in case?)
  • Any kind of tape (duct tape or packing tape works well)…any amount
  • Cardboard (several thicknesses)…foamcore….any amount
  • Plastic/cotton string or fishing line…or basically any other SOFT or bendable material if cleared by your teacher.

5…4…3…2…1…THE LAUNCH!

After arriving at the launch pad, the LAUNCH CONTROL TEAM will be in charge of launch order. Your team will be called and you will put on safety goggles given to you by the SAFETY TEAM. After setting up your rocket on the launch pad, move back to the end of the launch rope. The “launcher” will slowly pull the launch rope tight. When ready to launch, the launcher will VERY LOUDLY announce…”ready to launch” wait a second, then begin “5…4…3…2…1…LAUNCH! Upon the word launch, the timers will begin their stopwatches. If rocket fails to launch, DO NOT RE-PULL THE STRING…WE WILL START PROCEDURE OVER.

SCORING THE LAUNCH

Your EGGONAUT’S time aloft is what is timed, NOT the rest of the rocket. If your egg separates from the rocket, only the egg is timed. Points will be awarded using the following system…

Timing will rounded to “tenths” of a second.

Egg survival is worth 50 points (must be in air 2 seconds or longer). Eggs that are not in flight for at least 2 seconds will be awarded no points even though egg is still unbroken. Team must bring egg to RECOVERY TEAM FOR EGG INSPECTION IMMEDIATELY AFTER LAUNCH.

Cracked EGGONAUTS will be awarded time aloft points only. EGGONAUT MUST BE INTACT AT LAUNCH.

Each second the Eggonaut is aloft will be given 10 points.

Your team may launch a second time IF and WHEN all other teams have launched at least once…same order as first launch, and the better of the 2 launches will be used. In the event that time runs out before everyone who wants to launch a second time gets to, then ONLY the first launch for EVERYONE will be counted. Use your time wisely!

The team with the highest point total wins!

HERE ARE THREE SAMPLE SCORES….

LAUNCH 1   LAUNCH 2  
Egg survived 50 points Egg cracked 0 points
Time Aloft: 4.6 46 points Time Aloft: 6.7 seconds 67 points

TOTAL POINTS 96 points TOTAL POINTS 67 points

LAUNCH 3


Egg survived but flight time was less than 2 seconds………………………..0 points

PICKUP/CLEAN UP ALL PARTS OF YOUR LAUNCH VEHICLE AFTER EACH LAUNCH

Description:
I use an electric air pump (but a manual one will work). I bought a great one from Lowes for around $39.00 (made by Bonaire, their air compressor/inflator in a yellow and black box.) You fill the launch bottle with about .5 to .75 liters of water, invert the bottle on the launch pad, pump it up to the pressure you want (I usually use between 80 -90 lbs) then pull the launch cord. You won’t believe how fast/high these rockets travel with fins, etc. Usually I spent about a week on the Eggonaut with design, test, redesign and final launch for a grade….students love this week outside the building. Below are some pictures to help you visualize. E-Mail me if you have further questions….have a great time and always be careful! :-)

E-Mail Brad Clarke !

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