“What’s up with Math? – Rockets!”


Frederick Santos, Journalist/Photographer


JSEC’s Math Department Launches To New Heights!  Check out this video where quadratic equations are ‘quad-tastic’!!!

JSEC Math Department is ‘launching to new heights’ to teach students about math concepts related to real word application.  The they decided to do this by adding a bit of fun and excitement to their Algebra 2 classes.   Many schools make use of water rockets to educate students about the basic idea behind aeronautics, science,  and yes even math.  Many different designs exist throughout the Internet.    At science fairs, water bottle rockets are prominent features.    Onlookers can witness the acceleration and thrust principles participants wish to display with these devices.    The students built the launchers using pvc pipe and used a standard bicycle pump to provide the air pressure.  The excitement built as students travelled from their math room over to the JSEC baseball fields nearby, as they were about to launch their Quadratic equations understanding into a new orbit.


There were a few items that Ms. Heald, a Teacher in JSECS Math Department,  wanted to point out related to quadratic equations:

1. They always form a parabola, either up or down

2. They are symmetrical about an axis of symmetry. (Which means the up side will look exactly like the down side)

3. There are several ways to solve a quadratic equation, including factoring, graphing, or using the quadratic formula.

4. The equation we used for the bottle rockets was:
H = -16t^2 + vt + c where h is the height of the rocket and t is the time in seconds. When we returned to the classroom we calculated the height based on the time it took to go up and down.

                           And the video also proves “What goes up must come down” as illustrated by Roji.