Upper School Students Apply Algebra II Honors Concepts in Fun Stomp Rocket Activity

Stomp rockets are a popular toy for young children, so why were Upper School algebra II honors students studying them so closely out on Tartan Field this week?
 
Because even something as simple as a toy rocket has the potential for mathematical problem solving in a fun way. 
 
The algebra II honors students, taught by Meghan Benson, utilized their knowledge of quadratic functions and projectiles in motion to predict when a stomp rocket would reach a specific height. Working in groups on Tartan Field, students recorded data and determined the equation for the rocket’s parabolic shape. Using their classroom learning, they then converted the equation and used it to predict when the rocket would go through a hula hoop held by a classmate at a certain height. 
 
“Students were 100 percent successful as every group eventually sent their rocket through the hula hoop,” Mrs. Benson said. “Some students’ predictions and force were so accurate that they made it in one or two attempts.
 
“The project demonstrated quadratic function applications in a fun way and allowed students to connect mathematical terms inside the classroom with practical applications outside the classroom.”
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An independent preschool through grade 12 college-preparatory day school in Orange County, California
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St. Margaret’s Episcopal School
31641 La Novia Avenue
San Juan Capistrano, CA 92675
949.661.0108
 
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