Very Strange Question

Discussion in 'The Watering Hole' started by Mohinish, Feb 24, 2020.

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  1. Feb 24, 2020 #1

    Mohinish

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    I developed a Model Rocket entirely from scratch using 3D printed body and home made engine and presented it for expo in my college. It took me 2 months of severe hard work to make it so far. But, despite my hardwork teacher asked "What is this used for?","What's new in this?","Why is your model better than other REGULAR science projects?". I am very disappointed.

    I ,anaged telling Model Rocketry is the driving force for many children to pursue engineering and sciences but seems like they need a more better sounding quick use case kind of explanation.

    Anyone please help me. I am really disappointed with the way things turned out despite of my sincere hardwork.
     
  2. Feb 24, 2020 #2

    Mushtang

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    In your case it was used for learning. It was used for problem solving. It was used as an inspiration to get you excited enough to tackle the hard work and learn the difficult things required to create a flying rocket.

    Your model rocket is better than REGULAR science projects because it's not REGULAR. Most science projects are copies of others, redoing the same thing over and over. And while others have created rockets too it's not done nearly as often as other projects such as "playing music to plants" or "making soap at home".

    This project is something that people spend their entire careers doing. Nobody has a career playing music to plants.

    Your project has a lot of science in it. That alone seems like it's enough to qualify as a good project.
     
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  3. Feb 24, 2020 #3

    Mohinish

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    Thanks @Mushtang for your reply. The community spirit is truly amazing. I hope everyone sees the same hardwork and exciting science behind it as we people do.
     
  4. Feb 24, 2020 #4

    jqavins

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    You wrote "presented it for expo in my college". Can you elaborate on that? Does this mean that you're presenting it for consideration to be placed in a display later? Or was this the expo, with judging complete? (I suppose not that, or else there'd be little point now in asking now for advice on an answer.) What's the actual purpose of the expo, the items in it, and your item in it?

    I agree that what you did is a cool project for a younger kids' science fair (and absolutely a cool project for one's own satisfaction at any age) but I must wonder what this college expo is all about.
     
  5. Feb 24, 2020 #5

    Mohinish

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    This college expo is about national Scienece Day. I presented this idea in preliminary round. Actual judging takes place on 27th. People present all kinds of science projects like simple Sonar sensor arduino projects to drones.But don't expect it to be too big. Overall projects maybe around just 30. I am damn sure no one did any project like my one involving REAL World Science. What can be my chances of winning and how can i improve them? Please help me.

    I am from INDIA :)
     
  6. Feb 24, 2020 #6

    jadebox

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    I think your project would be well received at an engineering or technology event. But, as a science project you should answer a question by posing a hypothesis. Then design a way to test the hypothesis to show that it is true (or, in some cases, false). Perform the tests and record the results. Then analyze the results to present a conclusion.
     
  7. Feb 24, 2020 #7

    jadebox

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    You may be able to adapt your project to make it a science project. For example, your hypothesis could be something like "3D printing provides a way of streamlining development of model rockets."

    You can probably think of something better.
     
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  8. Feb 24, 2020 #8

    NateB

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    I would explain the combination of skills you learned and applied to make this rocket and then relate them to answer the questions. Making the motor demonstrates a basic understanding of chemistry. Did you use a well known formula or did you tweak it for optimal performance in your motor? Explain your design choices with your rocket. What performance you hoped to achieved and if you did achieve it. Why did it over/under perform? Finally, why choose 3D printing? What advantages did you see over other materials and techniques? How can your design choices be used to improve model rocketry? An elementary school science project could just be building a model rocket, one for higher education needs more in depth research and explanation.
     
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  9. Feb 24, 2020 #9

    dr wogz

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    Are you presenting anything new? A new theory? a new method of Manufacture? A new concept? Or revised (made better / improved) a current design?
    Have you developed anything new? Or revised (made better / improved) a current design?
    Was it designed for a specific purpose?
    Did you try to reproduce someone's experiment? Or help confirm a previous theory or solution to a problem?
    What problem are you trying to solve / search for a viable solution for?

    Those are the criteria I would be looking for..

    You seemed to only design something fairly common (these days..) with some readily available tools, and fabricated it with new & trendy technology..

    if you designed a few rockets, to demonstrate the effects of long & thin vs. short & fat.. Or how a larger diameter impacts performance, or that a larger diameter tube is X times stronger than a smaller dia tube.. Or that the 3D printer technology allowed you to make X part that is traditionally a hard part to fabricate with traditional tools and/or materials.. Can you show a correlation between what force the motor can produce, altitude attained and / or what differences in the motor make-up to make it go higher / lower / with a larger payload?
     
  10. Feb 24, 2020 #10

    Speaknoevil

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  11. Feb 24, 2020 #11

    K'Tesh

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    Here's a few real world science experiments that use model rockets. BUT keep in mind these are can be VERY dangerous, and not meant for you to try to reproduce personally.

    Rocket triggered lightning... Using model rockets to trigger lightning strikes. These allow scientists to direct the natural phenomena into a fixed area that can be monitored by various instruments (imaging, thermal, electrical power, etc).

    Atmospheric sampling in tornadoes. Team Dominator is now launching rockets into tornadoes with sensors that can measure, record, and transmit atmospheric data inside them.

    Cloud seeding... Using rockets to trigger rain. These rockets are launched into clouds with a payload designed to cause them to condense out (begin raining). China is a major user of these.
     
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  12. Feb 24, 2020 #12

    Nytrunner

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    Having participated as judge or reviewer in events like this, those sound very much like the normal sort of questions that judges ask each participant. In addition to your project, they are evaluating your presentation and handling of yourself as well.
     
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  13. Feb 24, 2020 #13

    Mohinish

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    Actually this fair is happening in college of Engineering and Technology. So, as peers mentioned above I need to have a very strong explanation and hypothesis. Maybe everyone can help me building a sheet of very good detailed explanations to be presented. One point each can help me a lot. i am sure more people in my college will be interested towards rocketry after this fair. Let's keep the MODEL ROCKETRY spirit up and help my Rocket stand strong over other projects.
     
  14. Feb 24, 2020 #14

    Mohinish

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    These are way too advanced to implement but are very good real world applications. These points add to my presentation.Thanks a lot.
     
  15. Feb 24, 2020 #15

    Mohinish

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    These are really good points to explain.Thanks a lot. Thanks for keeping the rocketry spirit up.
     
  16. Feb 24, 2020 #16

    ThreeJsDad

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    It could be worth mentioning that you used a method of fabrication that often has durability issues. Explain how you used engineering skills and knowledge to overcome this as a rocket needs to stay intact when very high G forces are applied to it. There is also the heat the motor housing and body tube need to endure.

    I have two kids in college right now and the oldest is constantly doing projects for her classes and we go through this thought process regularly.
     
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  17. Feb 24, 2020 #17

    Mohinish

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    Really good point to include. Thanks a lot.
     
  18. Feb 24, 2020 #18

    jqavins

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    Events with names like "National Science Day" are rarely just about science; they are also about technology. Since your expo is being held at the College of Engineering and Technology, I'd suggest taking an engineering approach rather than a science approach to demonstrating the worth of your rocket as a display.

    The science approach is to consider a hypothesis and the use of the rocket to confirm or refute it. But that's not the way I would go here.

    Engineering is the art of considering the available materials, techniques, and prior experience, all in the light of a specific goal. Or, as my father used to say, "Engineering is the art of making things you want out of stuff you can get." So in your place I would focus on why you designed the rocket with the shape (length, diameter, number and shape of fins, nose cone profile) you did, why you chose to use 3D printing, why you chose to make your own engines rather than buy commercial ones, why this and why that; what alternatives you considered; and how you went about making those choices.
     
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  19. Feb 24, 2020 #19

    jadebox

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    For an engineering approach, you could compare 3D-printed components to traditional ones. Or compare various methods of 3D-printing and their effect on the components. Or compare the results using different types of plastics. In each case, you would need to develop subjective criteria for the comparisons and, as with the science approach, analyze the results of testing to produce conclusions.
     
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  20. Feb 24, 2020 #20

    BABAR

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    I may be out of step with my colleagues here, but you spent two months on a project that you didn't run any reviews by your professor in the planning stages before you really started the heavy duty work? I am thinking both in college as well as "real life" you want to make sure you are headed in an approved direction before you devote significant resources (including YOUR time and brain power) to something.

    Definitely up to YOU to come up with the IDEA, but seems like once you come up with the idea it would be wise to seek approval before you run with it.

    Just "building something" whether it be a mousetrap or a nuclear reactor is not itself a science project.

    Generally science projects, especially at the college level, involve a theory or hypothesis and then involves work (which can be mathematical, research, or hands on physical) to prove or disprove the hypothesis.

    Now you are in the hole trying to retrofit something you have already done to a hypothesis or theory you didn't start with. While I am sure you are going to learn from this (unfortunately how NOT to do a science project), I don't think what you are going to learn is what was intended by your professor. It will get you a certificate from UHK (University of Hard Knocks.)
     
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  21. Feb 25, 2020 #21

    Mohinish

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    That's correct.
     
  22. Feb 25, 2020 #22

    boatgeek

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    You put a lot of work into this project, and I can see that it would be disappointing if you feel that your professors don’t appreciate that. That said, Babar is on to something. When you received the assignment, you probably got a list of questions or goals of the assignment. You need to answer those questions and goals yourself.

    If you don’t have other questions to answer, these might be a good list:

    What did you learn/what new tools did you use?
    What went wrong and how did you fix it?
    Why did you do something different than everyone else?
    Why is developing new skills in rocketry/motor design/3-D printing important?

    I’ll give a partial answer to the last one. I was fortunate to get a tour of Blue Origin a year ago. They had a shelf full of 3-D printed parts for rocket engines, and my tour guide said that their castings supplier said that they expected to entirely be 3-D printing in 10 years instead of casting. That may not be true for all industries, but it’s probably true for aerospace and high-precision work.
     
  23. Feb 25, 2020 #23

    jqavins

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    What none of us replying to Mohinish knows is the nature of this "Expo", the tone or theme of this "National Science Day", and the reason for his participation. Was it an assignment? Were there goals spelled out? Is it required to follow or demonstrate the scientific method?

    It could be that the matters of hypothesis and experiment are not required, that a demonstration of engineering methodology is acceptable. One of the mantras in an engineering analysis or investigation is "Don't make a science project out of it."

    Boatgeek's questions are good ones:
    Also good would be:
    ∙ What's different about this rocket from others?
    ∙ Why are those differences valuable?
    ∙ What sorts of analysis and testing* did you do during the design, and why?
    ∙ If there were test failures, what did you learn from them?
    ∙ What sorts of analysis and testing did you not do, and why were they not necessary?
    ∙ How did your rocket's performance compare to your predictions?
    ∙ What can you learn from the differences between prediction and performance?

    If you're supposed to be following scientific method, and didn't start with a hypothesis to be tested, then you're in trouble trying to add one later. In fact, you're totally screwed trying to add one later, because that's not how the scientific method works**. (A scientist doing research who did the experiment first and formulated the hypothesis later would be utterly disgraced.)

    On the other hand, if a demonstration and description of engineering methods is OK, then it's not a problem to add the description afterward; you did the work, so now you just have to say what you did and why.

    * Testing looks a lot like conducting an experiment with "it will do what I intended" as the hypothesis, but it's really not the same thing.

    ** On the other hand, "Try it and see what happens" can also be real science. Before the hypothesis come some observations, and setting up conditions to make useful observations (which also looks a lot like experiments and tests, but is also something different) is legitimate. The little kid who turns over rocks to see what's under them is doing science. Unfortunately, this project doesn't seem to fit that model, as everyone knows what happens when you stick fins and a nose cone on a motor and light it.
     
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  24. Feb 25, 2020 #24

    Mohinish

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    Thanks for such great reply. I really learned where I screwed up. All these reply's can make my presentation better.
     
  25. Feb 25, 2020 #25

    Mohinish

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    Everyone here is awesome.

    Just to make it clear one more time. Here is my EXACT situation.

    I am going to present a Model Rocket that I have prepared from scratch using 3D printed body and self made sugar motor. This is not a simple task. I am going to present this in EXPO.

    This EXPO consists of projects like simple arduino projects, drones, smart speakers, smart watering system such kind of projects. They are great but on comparision to our ROCKETRY they are no where near to us in real world.

    Logic is simple. For example take smart speaker. They take a normal speaker and pair it with some arduino and sensors and make it into google home/alexa. It serves some purpose. Similarly drones. Thehy fly and take pictures,spray fertilizers and so on.

    What about my MODEL ROCKET? What purpose does it serve?

    I managed to explain like we can attach camera module, different atmospheric sensors to measure changes in atmosphere over layers of atmosphere as rocket goes up and etc.,
    Think of entreprenural way, back in India there are no rocketry clubs and retailers to sell any model rockets. if we set up one small company that provides these parts our business can run towards success.

    I managed explaining so but they are not happy with the answer.

    Considering all above replys please conclude your views and ideas and what i can do to present it in very good manner at final presentation on 27th feb.

    I really appreciate all your work and time here.

    Thanks a lot.
     
  26. Feb 25, 2020 #26

    boatgeek

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    One possible answer is that the people designing rockets at NASA, SpaceX, etc. in the US all likely started by flying model rockets. If India wants a long-term civilian space program (a good thing!) then it helps to get lots of children interested in rocketry. Some of them will grow up to be the next generation of rocket scientists.

    The other very important thing is that rocketry is a process of learning from your mistakes and other people’s mistakes. Virtually any program starts small and builds up through successive sub scale models. It is a lot cheaper to experiment on smaller things than bigger ones.
     
  27. Feb 25, 2020 #27

    BABAR

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    With respect Joe, the first post of this thread implies this IS intended to be a science project.


    With the limited information we have here, not sure how much of this SNAFU is on Mohinish vs his teacher(s). Whatever the "goal" of the assignment, whether a "Science Project" or a technology "Demo" or an ornate Soap Carving, the parameters of the assignment should have been made clear by the instructor at the start, and IMO if such a project is major portion of a student's grade, there should be "checkpoints" along the way, the first of which probably should be, "I'd like to do THIS for my project, will that meet your expectations?"

    Mohinish, I wish you the best of luck, but you are in a deep hole two months into the project, two days from presentation. The best I can come up with is that from your description, the most recent technological advance in your project is the use of 3D printed parts for rocketry (not extremely new, but since model rocketry has been around for over 1/2 a century, gotta start somewhere.) The accessibility of 3D printers to the general public has put the capability of reproducing previous models (nose cones, plastic fin cans, etc.) in the hands of "regular" people, previously restricted to big companies (who sometimes stop making certain parts, making cloning difficult.) But not just the ability for "regular" people to recreate previous designs, you also have the ability to create NEW designs. Examples could include Rocket boosters that duct gases from a single booster motor to multiple sustainers (something like the ESTES MIRV, except hopefully one that is more functional!) Also the ability to better fit cameras onto rockets for inflight video (as opposed to attaching an 808 camera with electrical tape---- although that works.) So perhaps the hypothesis might be,

    "3D printing allows local users to recreate previous designs (which may no longer be available commercially) AND come up with new designs, expanding accessibility of model rocketry projects to the general user."

    I dunno, like I said, you got two days.

    But if you learn the lesson that for any project, academic or real world, you make sure you line up your plans with your teacher, boss, supervisor, product user/consumer upfront, in the early planning stages, you will have learned more than many of your peers in this event. It's a good lesson even if not the intended one.

    Best wishes! And I hope it flies well
     
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  28. Feb 25, 2020 #28

    BABAR

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    And if you can 3D print a booster fin can that will duct a D12-0 booster motor to 3 A8-5 (or other 18 mm motors) I want one!
     
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  29. Feb 25, 2020 #29

    jadebox

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    I am a little bit offended by your teacher's reaction. Even if designed as a toy, a model rocket has utility and purpose.

    Toys, like play itself, serve multiple purposes in both humans and animals. They provide entertainment while fulfilling an educational role. Toys enhance cognitive behavior and stimulate creativity. They aid in the development of physical and mental skills which are necessary in later life.
    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Toy#Child_development
     
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  30. Feb 25, 2020 #30

    jqavins

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    I must respectfully disagree. Yes, I see that the words "science project" are in it. Unfortunately, many people will use those words for anything "sciency". Stick some copper and zinc into a lemon, hook them up to an LED, and they'll call it a "science project". So, for better or worse, you shouldn't take those words too seriously.
    I see nothing at all to indicate that this was an assignment, i.e. something people were required to do. There's no sign at all that has anything to do with a grade. For all we know, Mohinish did this in response to a flyer soliciting entries.
     
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