Astronomy Class Summary 11/10/14
with Leigh Ann Yoder
Lunar Module Design
This week in class students were challenged to design and build a model of a lunar landing module. Just as real manned spacecraft must be designed to land softly on the surface of the moon or earth, students were required to create a "spacecraft" that could be dropped to the floor without harming the "astronauts" inside.
Students could choose to work individually or in pairs and each design needed to incorporate the following components:
A cup (for the cockpit), secured to
A cardboard square (for the platform), and
2 mini marshmallows (representing the astronauts)
Additional supplies included index cards, tape, rubber bands, drinking straws, cotton balls, and scissors. Students were instructed to use these materials in any way they could imagine to design a spacecraft that would absorb the shock of impact and make a soft landing.
The only design restriction was that astronauts (mini marshmallows) were not allowed to be constrained inside the module - they needed to be allowed to fall out if the module tipped over or landed too hard on the surface.
Students had a great time designing their modules! No two designs were the same and the variety of mechanisms they developed for air resistance and shock absorption were very impressive. I hope those that took their designs home had a chance to explain them to you and test them again at your house!
We tested the modules first in the classroom beginning at a height of 2 feet. The excitement built as each and every module made a successful landing from 3 feet, 4 feet, 5 feet,... all the way up to ceiling height (8 ft)!
At that point, one student had the brilliant suggestion of launching the modules from the classroom's second story window to see if they could successfully land, without ejecting the astronauts, on the ground below.
Guess what? They did! I think we may have some future NASA engineers on our hands!
ECA Chapter 8
Continue Studying for the Game Show
JK Chap 3
NB pg 87, 88, 89, 90, 94, 97
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