The students brainstormed and played with the parts of the
stomp rocket that I made for one of my science projects at The Exploratorium
Teacher Institute training program in San Francisco. They had to figure out how
to assemble it into the rocket stomp. I asked them an open ended question in
the beginning to welcome their creative ideas and new designs from the rocket
parts. So, I asked “what can you make out of these parts?’’ It was quite
interesting to see the students collaborate their ideas and experiment assembling
different models. They came up with different shapes of the alphabet (T, F, h),
number (4) and other shapes with their own explanations.

After they tried every possible shapes and designs that they
could think of, I asked them to come up with a model of a rocket stomp or a
launcher. The students started to rush their ideas into remodeling a rocket
stomp. After they figured out their rocket launcher, I gave them some guidance
to make the launcher stable.

The next assignment was an art project to make a rocket out
of paper or transparent little hard plastic cover or chart paper, cello tape
and scissors. I demonstrated how to make a rocket using paper, and asked them
to come up with their own designs and shapes for their respective rockets.

The students came up with their creative rockets: some are
shorter, others are longer with tails attached and some are without a tail.
Everyone was happy with their own rocket and assumed that their rocket would
travel to the highest point in the sky. I have also seen students teasing each
other with their rockets.

Finally, it was time for all of us to launch our rockets. We
all went outside, in front of the guesthouse yard at Chokyi Gyatsho Institute and
gathered around a rocket stomp. I told my dear boys that we are going to
‘’estimate’’ the distance travelled by each rocket. The word ‘’estimate’’ was
introduced in the class with some daily practical examples (we estimate salt to
add in the curries, etc.), before we came outside and they have quite a good
understanding of this vocabulary. The students presented the launching of their
rockets according to the alphabetical order of their names. Other students in
the audience surrounded the rocket stomp, counted down from 3 to 0, while a stomper
was ready to give a big stomp on the two liter plastic bottle to push the
rocket into the sky.

In the process of launching, the students discovered how a
rocket works in general and which of their rockets would travel the longest
distance. They knew that a rocket with an attached tail travels further. They
also said that a rocket with pointed head, slim, long, straight and airproof ones
travel further.

After launching each rocket, I have asked them to estimate
the distance travelled by that rocket. They came up with different estimations:
20 feet, 30 feet, 40 feet, 50 feet, etc.

Mr. Sangay Nidup’s rocket travelled the highest distance
with an estimated height of more than 50 feet, followed by Mr. Dema Gyempo.