It IS rocket science!

Grade 11

Tsiolkovsky Level

STARS-1625 Technology Systems

Licensure Requirements:

  • 300 7–12 Secondary 03 Technology Education
  • 308 7–12 Lifetime Secondary 03 Technology Education
  • 350 5–9 Middle Level 03 Technology Education
  • 500 Pre K–12 Specialty Area 03 Technology Education
  • 505 Pre K–12 Lifetime Specialty Area 03 Technology Education
  • 800 7–12 Secondary Vocational Technical

Student must be concurrently enrolled in or have successfully completed Algebra 2. 

Application of the student's knowledge base, addition of knowledge, and the development of life and work skills - cognitive reasoning, critical thinking, problem-solving, design and development, testing and analysis, documentation, and teamwork and leadership. 

First Semester
The first semester is designed to ignite the student’s desire to learn and enhance 21st Century Learning skills through hands-on projects in 15 modules supported by teacher-friendly PowerPoints and discussions. Lectures, labs, and projects are designed to teach foundational knowledge and problem-solving tools found within the four main energy systems: mechanical, fluid, electrical and thermal. As the semester advances and in-depth learning increases, students are also required to design and build 3 small-scale rockets, each with increasingly more difficult criteria. 

Second Semester
The second semester begins with an introduction to the industry approved Research Design and Development Loop (RD&D Loop) which is used for the second semester class project–design and build a rocket to take a 1.0-lb payload to an altitude of 5,280 feet. 

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 allow 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). We use the PMA as the second semester final exam.

Scope and Sequence

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