4th grade science fair project

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Well-Known Member
Mar 27, 2004
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hey guys & gals...

what would be a good project for my 4th graders science fair project concerning rockets...

the trig involved with height calculations I dont thing would be grade appropriate...

any ideas...

gonna drop the coin on Apogee for the 69 projects book if nobody has a practical one here...

Aerodynamics (drag specifically) with different fin shapes and airfoils...
Originally posted by Blue_Ninja_150
Aerodynamics (drag specifically) with different fin shapes and airfoils...

I did something similiar to that for my 9th grade science fair! And I got an A+ too (haha, just had to say that, don't mean to brag).

I would recommend testing the different effects of weights on rockets. That's pretty simple. It'll involve knowledge of gravity and s(he) could include some formulas about gravity's force. The only thing I can think of that'll make it complicated is when a slighty heavier rocket goes higher than a lighter rocket because of momentum and stuff. That might be hard to explain to a 4th grader.

Just my 2 cents.
Another idea that has merit is to study the effects of different recovery methods (different size parachutes and streamers for a fixed mass rocket)

You could also experiement with different shroud attachment, for example:

Design/build your test vehicle.

Do a write up with you expectations for the following then fly these configurations and compare the results to your expectations:

8", 12", 16" parachutes. Record total air time (from first motion till landing) with the same motor. Also record drift along with ground air speed and draw conclusions.

1" X 5" streamer, 1" X 10", 1" X 20" all attached at one end
Same, with attachement at the center of the streamer

Repeat with 2" wide streamers.

Select a chute size (say, 12")
Build the chute and take data with 4 shroud lines (square chute), 6 shroud lines then 8 shroud lines.

There's enough here for a heck of a report

You could confirm any of the RockSim modifications I published! For a science project it is important to use the scientific method; the initial hypothesis would be that the simulation of the flight is correct (or incorrect). Next build the appropriate rocket to test the hypothesis. You might have to buy an altimeter to test the altitude predictions for models with tube fins, ring fins, side pods or boost gliders. Run a significant number of test flights (3 or more) and compare the actual results to the softwares predicted values. You could also check to see how accurately RockSim predicts the flight time from launch to landing on a certain model. These simulation programs models of reality that you could easily test using the scientific method. You could program in the flight conditions such as wind speed, temperature, and humidity from either weather reports or meaurements you make at the launch site. I wonder how good the parachute drift calculations are in the RockSim software. You could both time and measure the drift and compair these values to what the program predicts. No need to do the complex math just gather the data ; have fun validating the science.

Bruce S. Levison, NAR #69055
(Also a science fair judge)