Blast Off!

Unit Map

Some Images Have Been Deleted Due to Possible Copyright Infringement

1.) Our first center we had the children made three different kinds of bottle rockets.
-The first bottle rocket that we had the kids try was the bike pump rocket.
-This included the children filling a 2-liter plastic bottle ¼ of water, connected to the PVC pipe that connected to the bike pump. We had the children pump the bottle rocket until it fired off.
- The second bottle rocket involved a film container, water, and pain relief medicine.
- For this activity, we had the children break the pain relief into pieces, filled the container with about a tablespoon of water, we had the children shake it and turn it upside down. The children waited until the container flew up or “fired off.” It did not go as high the bottle rockets, however, it was extremely entertaining for the children.
-The third rocket we did every hour as a finale for the end of the hour. This rocket included diet Pepsi and mentos.
- The group members did this because it was a bit dirty and it had to be prompt. We broke the mentos into pieces and stuck it into diet Pepsi. There was an instant reaction because of the acidity of both the coke and the mentos.
-The fourth rocket we had was vinegar made rocket. We put ¼ cup of vinegar in a water bottle, after that we put a coffee filter in the water bottle, and filled it with baking soda and turned it upside down. And we waited for it to launch.

2.) Our second center we had the children make sundials.
- We defined sundials, what they were used for, and had instructions on how to make them with cardboard.
-There were facts and instructions taped around the table so that the children would be able to have some knowledge about the sundials.
-We had the children make sundials out of cardboard boxes and tape.
-We had to make sure that the triangle was at the right angle on the base, so that it will work properly.
-The four members of our group cut out triangles and squares.
-In order for the sundials to correctly tell the time. The children must first find out what where north is. Since we were on the subject, we also described north, east, south and west.
3.) The third center we had was all about gravity.
-We had the children play with some toys that would work differently in space because of gravity.
-The toys we had the children play with are yo-yos, slinky, magnets, frog that hops, paper airplanes. We also had a real space suit.
-We asked the children how these toys would work in space.

Questions and/or problems that drive the activities

One of the problems that we had with these activities was that the children were more interested with the bottle rockets more than anything. We tried to get the children to the other centers but other centers were not as appealing as the bottle rockets. The sundials were the least appealing to the children.

Question: A question that we had was: How would we make sundials and the toys more appealing so that the children would want learn about gravity and sundials.

Another problem that we encountered was that sometimes the rockets would not work properly. We have tested out the rockets a couple of times beforehand so that we know that they work, however, sometimes it did not work properly when the time came. It was a little frustrating when the rockets did not work. The children had high expectations, and when we did not deliver we lost their interest. As future teacher, we must expect the unexpected, ALWAYS.

Possible Student Projects

- The students can make their own sundial. For example, they could research the history of the history of the sundials, the era, the location, etc. Along with the sundials, they could make projects of whatever they found interesting in the Egyptian era. For example, the pyramids, the mummies, the pharaohs, clothing, anything of their interest. The goal of this would be to learn the history and geographic of Egypt.
- The students could build their own bottle rockets. They could even make a more complex model so it could go farther or higher. The goal of this would be for the children to learn about actions and reactions.
- The students can even build different kinds of paper airplanes. The children can discuss the aerodynamics of different shapes, sizes, and weight of the airplanes.
- The students could watch video’s about gravity to get an idea of how it works.
- The children could also learn about space from the rockets. From that the can learn about planets. -They could do an activity of how far and the distance is from the planets to the sun.

Conceptual Explanations

Key Concepts

1) Bottle Rockets

One concept that we wanted the children to learn was how to build bottle rockets. We had four different kinds of rockets: water in a two-liter plastic bottle and a bike pump, vinegar in a water bottle, film container with pain relief medicine, and soda with mento mints. We wanted the children to estimate how high and far the bottles would go. We would compare and contrast amongst each rocket that we had the children test. We asked why they thought one rocket went farther or higher than other. Our group wanted the children to learn about different reactions, size, and different liquids that affect the bottle rockets. We, also, wanted the children to learn about the history rockets. For example, when was the first spaceship launched? Why did we want launch it? Who went into outer space first? What was it like then? What is it like now? Those are only some questions we wanted the children to know.

2) Space

We wanted the kids to learn about space, specifically the sun, because it led to our sundial center. The children will learn what exactly a sundial is. At this center, the children were able to tell time, if it was accurately made, by just the sun and some cardboard. We wanted the students to understand that the earth orbits around the sun, which reflects the time. By doing this activity, the students would be able to learn north, east, south and west because the time would only work if the sundials would face north. Overall, we wanted the children to understand the history of clocks, where they began (Egypt), how they were used, where the people put their clock so they could tell time.

3) Gravity

Our third center was about gravity. We had a couple of toys at our center such as yo-yos, jumping frog, slinky, and magnets. The point of having toys at this center was to teach the students that the toys work differently when in space. We also wanted the kids to know that gravity affects everything so astronauts must take appropriate measures so the would be able to survive. For example, astronauts have to work out every single day, if not, they would lose all muscle mass when they got back into earth. The littlest action some be taken seriously, such as belching. When one belches, water comes up and floats around the shuttle. The main purpose of this center was to teach the students about gravity and how it must be taken seriously when astronauts go outer space.

Engagement, Inquiry, and End Product

Teachers can use various approaches to engage children in this unit.

  • Engage students in a video about NASA or rockets.
  • Engage students in a space activity, making balls of clay for each planet and mapping out how far they will be from each other on the school grounds.
  • Engage students in a field study/trip to meet at the school after the sun goes down to look through telescopes and talk about what they see.

Teachers can use various approaches to engage children in each subunit strand.

1) Planets and stars-

  • a. Engage students in a field study of planets they see in their area.
  • b. Engage students in looking at the stars and moon, documenting what they see, even having a classroom planetarium.
  • c. Engage students in finding their favorite planet or constellation to talk about with the class.

2) Exploration-

  • a. Engage students in watching a NASA video on the first person who went to the moon and the rocket built.
  • b. Engage students in making a planet model.
  • c. Engage students in talking about what they see in space, what is the purpose for different things we have in space (satellites).

3) Rocketry-

  • a. Engage students in finding research about various different types of rockets they can make.
  • b. Engage students in an activity about rockets and NASA, what they made, why it worked, and why they did it?
  • c. Engage students in a “trip to outer space.” Students find what they need to take a trip (simulation).

4) Archeology astrology-

  • a. Engage students in the different cultures that created sun dials and how they believe the sun, planets, and astrology affect the world/these inventions.
  • b. Engage students in reading a story about different gods of different cultures.

Approach to Inquiry

  • We will take the approach of providing the opportunity for student to explore at each center. We mostly want students to ask questions and solve their own problems or questions they develop about the subject/unit.
  • Most of the inquiry will be student-directed. Students will go to a center of their interest, and begin the activities. Students will have the opportunity to explore the web, watch videos, create rockets, and dig deeper into the inventions made in history that relate to each unit.
  • Some inquiry will be teacher-directed. Some areas are whole group units; making a planetarium, scale model of the planets and the distance on the school campus. Mostly the teacher will have each center developed giving students an abundance of choices, and going around having small group instruction and conversations with students at each center.
  • Inquiry included: most of the inquiry will be experimental and observational.

End-product Goals:

  • Students will be working towards making a book of Space and Rockets, and make their own rocket.

Sub-Unit Activities

Planets and stars


1. The solar system-

Activity: The students can create a clay model of the solar system. The students can use the information below and create a solar system on a smaller scale. After the clay models are complete, the teacher and students will go outside and measure the distance between each of them. Each group of students that represents each planet will stand in the correct position.

Questions and problems aligned with this activity:


• If this is a solar system with a scale of 200,000: 1, how big do you think the solar system really is?
• What are the planet sizes compared to the size of the Earth
• What are the planet names and the order of the Planets outward from the Sun
• Planet rotation rates
• Planet revolution rates
• Basic physical properties of each of the Planets

Types of techniques:
The students can use meter sticks to create the exact size of the different planets. A meter stick roller can be used to measure out the correct distances. The students can also draw out a smaller scaled model on a piece of paper
This would be a great introductory activity for students. This gives students a real grasp for how large the solar system really is.

Solar System Scale Model Information
SCALE: 200,000: 1


Additional activity: The students can also design their own planet after studying the solar system. The students will need to take into consideration if their planet will have human life, oxygen, water, etc. The students will draw their planet and create a brochure on the information.

Questions and problems aligned with this activity:
• Will your planet have any form of life on it? What kind?
• Will your planet have any of the natural elements on it? Which ones and why?
• Where would your planet position?
• Would it have any moons? What would be their purpose?

Types of techniques:
The students will first use a planning map to design their planet. The students will need to consider all of the different elements that are on a real planet. The students will need to research using books from the library and the internet and interviews form NASA to design their planet. In addition, the students will need to create their brochures using the Microsoft word template or free-hand for this.
Finally, the students will send their brochures and drawings of their planets to NASA or a local space center.

2. Stars-

Activity: The students will be able to explore the different constellations and stars in a planetarium made by the teacher. This planetarium can be made in the corner of the classroom using drapes, sheets and tacks. The planetariums can be found at any of the local teacher supply stores.

Questions and problems aligned with the activity:
• What is a constellation? What are some of the names?
• Can you always see the same constellations year-round?
• Can you navigate your way using stars?


Types of techniques:
The students will use observations from the planetarium to answer the questions above. The students can create maps, in a timeline form, to analyze their data. The students can critique and hypothesize their results.

Additional Activity: The next activity scaffolds off of the first one. The students will be able to make their own consolations using black paper and a pencil. The students will research and find their favorite constellation. They will punch holes through the paper. At the end, the class can shut off the lights and hold their constellations over a lamp facing upward to the wall.

Questions and problems aligned with this activity:
• Give some basic information about your constellation. For example – which season is it seen, what deep sky objects are found in your constellation, etc.
• Read a myth that explains your constellation. Write the myth in your own words

Types of techniques:
The students can use their background knowledge from the first activity to come up with their favorite constellation. The students will refer to their previous work to make sure that their own constellation is perfect.

Additional Activity: The students will conduct a moon study with their parents. This activity will take one month. The students will use a protractor and measure where the moon is at the same time every day. For example, the students and parents can go outside at 8pm every night for one month and measure where the moon is.

Question and problems aligned with this activity:
• Does the moon rotate with the Earth?
• If so, does the moon rotate clockwise or counterclockwise?
• What does a moon cycle look like?

Types of techniques:
The families will need a protractor copied on a piece of paper. They will attach two pieces of string in the middle of the paper at the bottom center of the protractor. On one sting, a bolt will be attached; on the other string a paper clip will be attached. When you look up at the moon, you will measure the paper clip to see the angle of the moon in relation to the time of night.
The students will also be keeping a journal to record their data and hypotheses. The students will also make drawings of the moon each night. Their final product will be a booklet of what they think is happening.



1. The moon-

Activity: The students can research the different facts about the moon, the first person who landed on the moon and what they have learned since. The teacher will also read The Moon Book by Gail Gibbons.

* This activity is complementary to the moon study

Questions and Problems aligned with this activity:
• Who was the first person to land on the moon?
• What is the more current discovery?
• Could we live on the moon? Why or why not?
• Does the moon have its own light?


Types of techniques:
The students will use observations from the moon study to complete this activity. The students can use their moon booklets to help them analyze their data as well.

2. Mars-

Activity: The difference between mars and Earth. The students will play with a tub full of sand and iron, sand and rocks, and rocks and iron. Using a magnate the students will pull out all of the iron. (Mars is primarily made of iron).The students can also research the differences and present to the class as if they were astronauts.

Questions and problems aligned with this activity:
• What is it like on Mars? Earth?
• Could we live on Mars? What would it be like?
• What are the similarities between Mars and Earth, what are the differences?
• What is Mars primarily made of?

Types of techniques:
The students can use computers, books, articles and magazines to determine the differences. The students can also graph their results during the iron activity. The students will need to determine what they are pulling out of the bins. They can do this by researching and discussion with peers.

3. What’s it like?


Activity: The students will ponder what is would be like in space? The students can watch a video from NASA that shows what it is like to play with toys in space. The students can play with the different toys and hypothesize. The students can also try the different dehydrated and dried food that astronauts eat. The students will explore the following questions:

Questions and Problems aligned with this activity:
• Could we as human live elsewhere on a different plant?
• How long can we stay in space?
• What are some of the long term effects on our bodies if we stay in space for a long time?
• What can we eat?
• Can we play with toys?
• How do we sleep?
• How can we use the restroom?

Types of Techniques:
The students can keep a journal as if they were an astronaut.

4. Satellites-

Activities: The students will research and explore the different satellites. These satellites will be in the United States and around the world. The students will discover the satellites purposes through interviews to local space centers. The students will also get the opportunity to take a field trip to the local space center.

Questions and Problems aligned with this activity:
• What is a satellite?
• What are some different types of satellites?
• What are their purposes?

Types of techniques:
The students can graph their results indicating the different purposes of the satellites. The students will be able to see the most popular use of satellites.



1. Different types of rockets-

Activity: First, the students will explore Fizzy tablet rockets. The students can work in pairs and experiment using Alka-Seltzer tablets and water in old film containers. The students can try 1 tablet or 2 tablets, and crushed tablets or whole tablets. Along the process, the students can time how long they take, how big of an explosion they make, how long they take to explore, the different measurements of water vs. tablet.


Questions and Problems aligned with this activity:
• Why does this reaction happen?
• Does it matter how much tablet vs. water you have?
• Do you think that the temperature of the water affects how high the rocket will fly? If so, why?
• Do you think the length or empty weight of the rocket affects how high the rocket will fly? If so, why?
• How does this mimic real life rockets?

Types of Techniques:
The students will need stopwatches and a place to record data. The students may need calculators to calculate the differenced in the launches. The students will need to communicate effectively to each other in order to modify their rockets.

Here is a link on hoe to build fizzy tablet rockets:

Additional Activity: The students can also create vinegar and baking soda rockets. The students will use two water bottles for this rocket. On one of the bottles, a cork will be glued on to the end. The students can experiment by using different amounts of baking soda and vinegar. The students can also explore the different results in relation to how hard the cork in pushed into the other water bottle.

*This activity should be done outside. (It can get a little messy)

Questions and problems aligned with this activity:
• What happened to create this reaction?
• Does it matter how much vinegar vs. baking soda you have?
• Does the tightness of the cork matter?
• If you used water instead of vinegar, would you have the same results?

Types of techniques:
The students can make educated guesses on how to modify their rockets. After conversing with each other, they can apply those modifications to their rockets. This activity is meant for purely exploration. The goal is for the students to take ownership and risk.

Additional Activity: The students can also try out fire and tea bag rockets. The students will cut a tea bag at the bottom and empty all of the tea out of it. The students will sit the bags upright and light them on fire. The bags will fly.

*This activity needs to be done as a whole class and in a proper science room with ventilation

Questions and Problems aligned with this activity:
• Why did the tea bags go up?

Types of Techniques:
The students can take pictures to document their results using a disposable camera.

Additional Activity: Lastly, the students and teacher can try a bike pump rocket. The teacher and students can make the launchers together.

Questions and Problems aligned with this activity:
• Do larger or smaller soda bottles go higher?
• Does the launcher work with no water in the bottles?
• Does the launcher work if the bottles are filled completely full of water?
• What amount of water gives the highest flight?
• How could we redesign the launcher to get higher pressure in the bottles before they took off?
• How could we modify the soda bottles to get longer or higher flights?
• How can we estimate or measure the speed of the rocket as it leaves the launcher?

Types of Techniques:
The students can use a white board to record their data out in the field.

Here is a step by step link on how to make a bike pump rocket:

2. Structure of a rocket-

Activities: The students can research using different sources, what makes rockets go up? The students can explore the different fuels and methods. The students can compare the rockets they created in class to real rockets in NASA. The students can research the different types within NASA and create a chart or diagram.

Questions and Problems aligned with this activity:
• What are the key components to a rocket?
• What are some different types of fuel?

Types of Techniques:
The students can contact their local engineering and astrology department at the nearest university. The students can write these people asking how they come up with ideas and their process of trial and error.

Archeology Astrology


1. Time and culture-


Activities: The students can explore the history of time and some of the first ways of telling time. The students will watch a video through National Geographic that shows some of the first ways of telling time. The students can also play with a bunch of different clocks and watches. The students will have the opportunity to tinker with these and explore.

Questions and Problems aligned with this activity:
• What was the earliest way of telling time?
• How do we keep track of time?

Types of techniques:
While the students are tinkering with the different watches and clocks, the students can use a journal to jot down inspiration and ideas. The students can apply their knowledge from the movie and critique how the different watches work.

Additional Activity: The students can make their own sundials using card board and tape. The students can go outside and calculate their sundials for accuracy.

Questions and problems aligned with this activity:
• Could we still use sundials today?
• What would the world be like if we still used sundials?

Types of techniques:
The students can use compasses to determine where the sundial lines up for correct time. In addition, the students can use excel to organize their data.

Additional Activity: The students can also find the relationship between the different cultures and how they used the sky to help them plant crops, determine the zodiac signs and the different myths and gods of the different cultures.

Questions and Problems aligned with this activity:
• Do we use the stars to help us plant crops today?
• What are zodiac signs and what are they for?
• Do we have any myths and gods like different cultures in relation to space?

Transdisciplinary and Patterns Opportunities

Outer Space Concept Explores into Different Disciplines

The specific concept and theme that we chose was outer space. We chose this concept because it can branch into so many areas of study.

1) Social studies:

  • Children can learn and explore the history of outer space, how cultures throughout this world and time have perceived outer space, and how they have benefited from it. This can go into learning about sun dials, astronomy, stone hedge.
  • Students can even learn and discover America’s history with outer space. How the United States was the first to walk on the moon, and our different space exploration.
  • Children can also learn what it is like to be in outer space. What do astronauts do when they are in the space ship? How do they entertain themselves?

2) Mathematics:

  • Children can learn how far away the sun is by using different math formulas.
  • Children can also learn the mathematics behind setting off a bottle rocket. What are the measurements of the chemicals that are being mixed? What if we doubled the formula? Or cut the formula in half? How would the mathematic measurements change?

3) Visual and Dramatic Arts:

  • Students can act out a play that they create about how it would feel like to be in space, or walk on the moon, or discovering a new planet.
  • Students can also create a movie about outer space. They can even produce a painting

4) Language Arts:

  • Students can write poem about space.
  • They can use their imaginations to write amazing stories either about how cultures perceive outer space or actually being in outer space.
  • Students can read ancient myths and legends about astrology and astronomy.
  • They can read how other cultures have made sense of the stars, moon, and sun.

5) Athletics:

  • Students can play outer space games.
  • Students also can create obstacle courses with outer space themes and challenges.

Subunits Explores Different Disciplines

Planets and Stars

• During the solar system the kids are not just learning about the science of planets, they are also learning math. They can use math formulas to figure out how far away each planet is. The equations is shown in the Solar System activity in the subunit section.
• During the star activity students are exploring the star constellations in a planetarium. During this lesson students can learn the history behind the constellations, and how different cultures viewed the stars. Students can also create their own constellations and drawings, and write their own myths to go along with their unique constellation ideas.

• Students can work together to act out or write plays about the stars and planets. Through this social interactions will take place


• During the moon and mars activity students can learn about our history of walking on the moon, and discovering mars.
• Students can write stories, and create their own books about being on the moon, and mars.
• Students learn the history of what other cultures perceived the moon and mars to be.
• Students can figure out how dense the moon is and how dense mars is through mathematical equations. They can then compare the two.
• During the what its like to be in outer space activity students can act out a play about what it is like to be in outer space. Through this they will have social interactions
• Students can learn the history of what it is like to be in outer space, and what astronauts experienced
• Students can write short stories, books, or poems about what it would be like to be an astronaut
• Students can play astronaut games.


• Children can learn the best mathematical formula for setting off a bottle rocket (this would be done through experiments and social interactions)
• Children can learn the history about bottle rockets. How have we progressed in making more efficient bottle rockets throughout the years? Who created the first bottle rocket?
• Children can keep a journal about their experiences with the bottle rockets. When was the first time they set off a bottle rocket? What kind of emotions were they feeling when they saw the rocket go up in the air?
• Students can draw pictures of bottle rockets

Archeology and Astrology

• During the sundial activity students will learn the history of sun dials and which cultures have used them throughout time.
• Students will also learn the history of astrology
• Students will make their own sun dials and create the precise measurements to create the most efficient sundial.
• Students can see the different pictures of what sun dials looked like throughout history and draw what their sundial would look like
• Students can draw their own constellations and create myths and legends.
• Students can read about the history of astrology
• Social interactions will happen naturally in this sub unit because children will want to see each others sun dial designs


Throughout this unit there are many metapatterns. Metapatterns can be used naturally to explain to children how outer space works. It is important to note that there are several metapatterns within the topic of outer space. We are mentioning on the metapatterns that have to do directly with our project or else this section would literally never end.
• SPHERES –The topic of outer space is a big sphere. Within that sphere we have multiple layers
• Layers—The layers of outer space our the topics that we have: Planets and stars, exploration, rocketry, archeology, and astronomy. Within each of those layer are different colons within the holon of the topic. For example planets are the within the holon of the planets, each individual planet is a colon. Then mars becomes a holon and the different aspects of mars is a colon. It all works together through the relationships of how the planet functioning.
• Cycles- There are many cycles within the topic of outer space. Here is what we came up with.
o Cycle of orbits
o Cycle of a stars life
o Cycle of the exploration from start to finish
o Cycle of time (sun dials and years)
o Cycle of eclipse
o Cycle of discovery
o Cycle of day and night
• Binaries – There are several binaries through out outer space. Have the kids think of more binary relationships. These are the binary relationships we thought of.

o The relationship between outer space and the way different cultures perceive it.
o The sun and moon
o How different cultures use the stars to help understand their world and cultures
o How we can use the stars to navigate
o Man and moon
o Discovery and mystery
o Sun dials and time
o Orbits and years
o Rockets and exploration


The students will be authentically assessed in a formative way throughout the unit in four different ways:

1. The teacher will interview the students along the way asking Socratic questioning to assess their understandings.

2. The teacher will keep anecdotal notes in regards to the students and their progress

3. The students will keep an interactive reflection journal throughout the unit. The students will be able to self-assess themselves. The teacher will be able to see their progression and how they are applying what they have learned as well.

4. The students will keep a portfolio. The students will have the choice of what they want to put in their portfolio. At the end, the teacher will review all of the portfolios. The teacher will invite the parents and school staff to an after-school gathering. At this conference, the students will be able to display their work from their portfolio.

Before the students begin the unit, the teacher will create a KWL chart with the class (know, what you want to know, and what you have learned). This will help the teacher grasp what the students already know and what they students want to know more about. The unit needs to be based on the student’s interest and motivation to learn.

During the unit, the students will be assessed through a journal. The students will be asked to keep a journal and reflect each day on what they have learned and how they can apply it to their lives. This will be an interactive journal between the teacher and students. This journal will not be used as a grading tool, but rather a way to informally assess the student’s progression throughout the unit. By keeping the journals, the students will also be able to assess themselves. Self-assessment is very important during this unit. The students will be able to see what they are learning and how they can relate it to their own lives. The teacher will also be interviewing the students and keeping anecdotal notes as stated above.

At the end of the unit, the teacher will assess the students through their portfolios. The students will be able to place any projects, art work, papers, drawings, etc. in the portfolio. For example, the students may want to place their planet brochure in their portfolio and their letter to NASA. The teacher will be assessing by seeing how the students have applied their knowledge. The students will be assessed through their applications of using higher-order thinking skills from Blooms taxonomy.


a. Description

What we did?

  • We gathered materials in order for students to implement our plan of rocketry, space, and archeology astronomy.
  1. Cardboard squares and triangles for sundials
  2. Tape
  3. Crayons
  4. Water bottles
  5. Corks that fit the tops of bottles
  6. Baking soda
  7. Coffee filters
  8. Mentos
  9. Vinegar
  10. Buckets of water
  11. Film canisters
  12. Alka-Seltzer
  13. Coke bottles
  14. Launch pad
  15. Bike pump- rocket launcher
  16. 2 tables – a few chairs
  17. Toys in Space
  • We set up two tables each labeled with a poster of/about the center.

* The first table was the Archeology astronomy center. Students can read facts about how time was developed in different ancient cultures, and random facts about sundials. Students then can make their own sundials from pre-cut cardboard and tape. The students then had to draw the time on their sundials and try to tell what time it was when they were finished making them.

* The second table was the Toys in Space center. Students can read facts about different toys used in space and the reactions. This was a center more based off of exploration and inquiry questions from the teacher. Students could come by and play with various toys and see how they work, then inquire how they would work differently in space.

* The last center does not need a table. This is the Rocketry center. Students were asked various questions as to which type of rocket would shoot off higher, if they would make it to space or what they thought would happen. Students then chose which type of rocket they would create and launch. Some choices were vinegar and baking soda, film canisters and Alka-Seltzer (on the launch pad), or the water bottle launcher (bike pump).

We mostly set up these centers for one on one instruction, and exploration through doing it themselves and us asking inquiry questions.
We then shot off Mentos and soda (coke) rockets every hour, for 5 hours.

VIDEOS of this implementation

b. Reflections and Critical Analysis

  • These activities were effective in engaging children in the learning process about Space and Rocketry. It was a huge hype to shoot off a rocket with calling out “fire in the hole” and watching a rocket go flying 20-40 feet in the air. Children were drawn automatically. The Rocketry center brought us the crowd of children first, then we were able to lead them to the other centers and ask them questions based on their experience before and after.
  • We would have done things a little more differently in engaging children in Archeology astronomy and Toys in Space. Children were so drawn to the bottle rockets that our tables were too far away to be seen. We could have put our tables closer so children walking by could see them and be curious. We should have developed more posters for the children to be excited about our centers. Given this was such a large event with many other centers of science and social studies, children are not in a school setting and even more curious about instant reactions, thus our other centers were not as engaging for this event.
  • Explore Your World Day is an event all students should be able to implement or be involved in at their schools. There are so many different centers even just for Space and Rocketry we could have done. Sadly there just was not enough time or the right environments to get all students engaged or inquire deep questions to spark their imagination. I believe that this event can change children’s dull perspective of science and social studies, also being an end of the year event for students to show various things they have learned over the past year.

c. Recommendation for Future Implementation

  • This unit can be used very effectively in the classroom environment. Students have the chance to go to each center, research, explore, play, and invent based off of what they learned. Teachers can have books, computers, other materials, a video about toys played in space and various other engaging materials for students to take it one step further than just exploration. The class can build a few different types of water bottle launcher together for the class, and even come up with their own ideas of what would make a bottle launch in the air.
  • Accommodations for this unit are very important for different student populations (ages, regional differences, and cultural differences).


Bloom, J. W. (2006). Creating a Classroom Community of Young Scientists (2nd ed.). New York: Routledge.

Bloom, J. W. (2011). The Really Useful Elementary Science Book. New York: Routledge


Return to homepage

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License