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Blended Bites Blog

Cutthroat Water Propelled Rockets

Jessica Anderson

With my goal of global collaboration at the forefront of this school year, I've been thinking about ways I can help students connect with others during design challenges.

My current thinking is along these lines…

My physics students are currently in Quest 3: Forces in One Dimension. At the end of this level, I want them to be able to apply the information they've learned during the quest by doing a water propelled rocket.

Now, some of the students have done water propelled rockets before. Therefore, I want to make it a little more challenging for them. I'm thinking about going a little Alton Brown on them and running the project like Cutthroat Kitchen.

Here are the things I'll probably give them:
1) A 2 liter plastic bottle (this is definite)
2) 30 seconds to grab all the supplies they think they will need to make the rocket.
3) Planning time after supplies are grabbed (kind of a like an Apollo 13 mission…these are the supplies you have now accomplish the goal)
4) $10,000 dollars to buy a "sabotage" or two.
    a. Auction off glue sticks (other supplies) so students must use only glue sticks during the project
    b. Blind folds (maybe for one team member)
    c. Inability to use dominate arm/hand during project.  
    d. etc…(I'm open to more ideas)
5) Design time/Test time
6) Final launch

Here's what I still need:
1) Some classes interested in participating in a challenge virtually.
2) More ideas on how to make this more "Cutthroat Kitchen" like.

If you're interested, please fill out the form below. We will most likely be running this challenge around the first week in March: