The Wonder Project Rocket Challenge

The Rocket Challenge Overview

The Rocket Challenge is the first programme in the Wonder Project family. It’s designed to get young Kiwis excited and wondering about science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM).

We will have worked through the 7 modules below. Each class is assigned one Wonder Project Ambassador who attends for about an hour each week over a 6-8 week period. We have also allowed children to work on their rocket during class time as each level takes 2-3 hours to work through.

Room 5 ambassador

Marten Beiermann who is a civil engineer who works for Opus in Taupo. We are extremely grateful to Martenn, and OPUS, who have given Marten time to come and help deliver the Rocket Challenge.


Marten Beiermann

The modules

This is what we have been learning about over the last seven weeks.

1. Mission command

Understand crew roles and responsibilities

Meet your Ambassador

Basic rocketry

2. Solving the problem

Understand the problem: I wonder how rockets fly?

Explore the engineering design process

Brainstorm rocket concepts

Health and safety

3. Force

Newton’s first law of motion (force/motion)

Launch first rocket

Collect flight data and make observations and discuss how we can make it better.

4. Aerodynamics

Newton’s second law of motion (acceleration/mass)

Design and create a prototype

Use of geometry for launch angles.

5. Thrust

Newton’s third law of motion (thrust/gravity)

Launch prototype designs

Collect data on rocket design (strength/durability) and evaluate

Add a parachute

6. Optimise

Collect data on distance, time and launch angles

Evaluate and continue to improve rocket designs and flights

7. Final blast off

Use final and best design to launch a final blast off and record the results

Create a video of your learning

It has been great watching our children think a rocket needs 10 fins and an extra nose cone. Or that looks are more important than aerodynamics. The real learning starts after we test launch the rocket. We make observations and discuss how we can modify it to make it better or optimise our rocket.

I have learned a lot and the most fascinating bit was the three laws of motion and the video’s that went with it were quite helpful. It was very cool to see what a chemical engineer does and I wanted to learn more. My favourite part was launching it and seeing it fly and trying to make it better. Leroy W.

My favourite part was building the rocket out of my plastic bottle. I have learned to keep my rocket balanced, not too heavy and using less water actually made it fly higher. Marten, our ambassador, was very helpful. Emma W.

First, we started to design the rocket, then we made a template and then made the fins out of coreflute then we thought how we were going to make the cone on the top we were done. It flew ok but crashed and the fins fell off so now we have to modify. Jack S

Rocket Challenge Video

Marten Beiermann1