It IS rocket science!

Grade 12

Oberth Level

Prerequisite: Tsiolkovsky level 

STARS - 0898 AP Research

Licensure Requirements:

  • 300 7–12 Secondary 01 Visual Arts
  • 300 7–12 Secondary 10 Social Studies
  • 300 7–12 Secondary 20 Language Arts
  • 300 7–12 Secondary 32 Science
  • 300 7–12 Secondary 45 Information Tech Coordinator
  • 300 7–12 Secondary 51 Mathematics
  • 300 7–12 Secondary 60 Modern and Classical Languages
  • 300 7–12 Secondary 90 Performing Arts
  • 308 7–12 Lifetime Secondary 01 Visual Arts
  • 308 7–12 Lifetime Secondary 10 Social Studies
  • 308 7–12 Lifetime Secondary 20 Language Arts
  • 308 7–12 Lifetime Secondary 32 Science
  • 308 7–12 Lifetime Secondary 45 Information Tech Coordinator
  • 308 7–12 Lifetime Secondary 51 Mathematics
  • 308 7–12 Lifetime Secondary 60 Modern and Classical Languages
  • 308 7–12 Lifetime Secondary 90 Performing Arts
  • 500 Pre K–12 Specialty Area 01 Visual Arts
  • 500 Pre K–12 Specialty Area 10 Social Studies
  • 500 Pre K–12 Specialty Area 20 Language Arts
  • 500 Pre K–12 Specialty Area 32 Science
  • 500 Pre K–12 Specialty Area 45 Information Tech Coordinator
  • 500 Pre K–12 Specialty Area 51 Mathematics
  • 500 Pre K–12 Specialty Area 60 Modern and Classical Languages
  • 500 Pre K–12 Specialty Area 90 Performing Arts
  • 505 Pre K–12 Lifetime Specialty Area 01 Visual Arts
  • 505 Pre K–12 Lifetime Specialty Area 10 Social Studies
  • 505 Pre K–12 Lifetime Specialty Area 20 Language Arts
  • 505 Pre K–12 Lifetime Specialty Area 32 Science 
  • 505 Pre K–12 Lifetime Specialty Area 45 Information Tech Coordinator
  • 505 Pre K–12 Lifetime Specialty Area 51 Mathematics
  • 505 Pre K–12 Lifetime Specialty Area 60 Modern and Classical Languages
  • 505 Pre K–12 Lifetime Specialty Area 90 Performing Arts

First Semester
Goals: Application of the student’s Tsiolkovsky level understanding and learning; the furthered development of 21st Century skills; and the design, development, and testing of a transonic vehicle. 

The first semester encapsulates the “early” design aspects of the vehicle’s performance and configuration. The students, or project team, will develop a flight profile using Excel. The profile will predict all flight dynamics, determine propulsion performance and stresses that will be applied to the vehicle during testing. By the end of the semester, the students have concluded a strong configuration of the vehicle and have the opportunity to travel to NASA–Johnson Space Center Houston–to present the profile to flight engineers. Flight profiles undergo critique and additional work as needed. 

Second Semester
Goals: Application of the student's first semester's understanding and learning; the furthered development of life and work skills; and the final development, testing, and analysis of the test vehicle. 

The second semester begins with a review of the industry approved Research Design and Development Loop (RD&D Loop) which will be used to design and build a transonic rocket. The goal is for the vehicle to exceed 344m/s i.e. to break the sound barrier. 

The students, as a project team, develop the overall vehicle design using computer modeling–the design incorporates all the content mastered in the first semester concerning rocket flight. After being selected to component teams (propulsion, air frame and fins, recovery, etc.), students are instructed about timeline management, critical decision-making, and project management. Specific component teams develop a timeline for production of their component, then begin the research phase concerning the problem aspects of their component. Problem aspects include function, mass envelope, simplicity etc. A final design is developed, usually in the form of mathematical calculations, that allows the team to move forward in the design process. The mathematical calculations are reviewed by a professional in aerospace industry offering criticism of the calculations but no insight into how it may be approved. The mathematical design is then converted to a working drawing representing the design of the component. The team begins extensively researching materials and developing decision matrices based on component function. Material variables include safety, cost, ability to work with, acquisition time etc. The team then presents a Critical Design Review (CDR) to the overall project team. If a “thumbs-up” is received from the overall project team, it is time to move forward to the development of the component. If not, redesign is needed until it is accepted. After materials acquisition and individual components are complete, all systems (components) must the integrated to complete the class project. At this point the vehicle must pass the Flight Readiness Review (FRR), prior to launch, to ensure adherence to all safety guidelines. After vehicle has been tested students enter the final phase of the project by evaluating vehicle performance. Students use a Fault Tree Analysis (FTA) to aide in the writing and presenting of a complete Post Mission Analysis (PMA). The PMA is used as the second semester final exam.

Scope and Sequence

First Six Weeks
Second Six Weeks
Third Six Weeks
Fourth Six Weeks
Fifth Six Weeks
Sixth Six Weeks