Click below to read a summary of the Exploration project ideas for Bronze, Silver, and Gold awards; or to go back to project ideas click here.
Investigate how a model rocket works
You will need to start this project by doing some research into how rockets take off. Don‟t worry about things like power. A good place to look for an example of the sorts of experiments you can carry out is: http://www.omenet.co.uk/SEEDA/rs003c.htm. Find out what the following terms mean: “payload”; “trajectory”; “propulsion”.
To get started you could use a model water or air rocket (for example RoKit). Try changing some variables to work out things like:
- How can you compare different rocket flights?
- Does the amount of water in the rocket make a difference to the flight?
- What happens when you add extra (payload) mass to the rocket?
- Does the initial firing angle make a difference?
Design a large-scale map of the Moon, showing the landing sites
Have you ever looked at a commercial map of the Moon? If not, carry out some research to find out what they look like! What sorts of features do they have? How big are they? How are different features marked on them? Do you think you could make a better, more eye-catching and more informative map?
Build a working reflecting telescope
Carry out some research into different types of reflecting telescope geometries. Find out how they work.
Choose one geometry (the 'Newtonian' geometry is probably simplest), and build a working telescope.
You should try contacting an astronomy department of a local university, or some other organisation so you can see how telescopes are assembled and used. Find out how they‟re tested. Find out about their different magnifications.