Rocket Science Is Easier Than You Might Think

Don’t you love it when a student gets so involved in what you’re studying that they become a partner in creating lessons?

Renee Moore just addressed this issue in a recent blog post where she described how to engage students. Renee teaches ELA so building these kind of student-teacher relationships looks a little different in science class. Here’s how we do this science style!

Last night one of my students emailed me with a great project idea. We’d done matchstick rockets and he’d been scoping out additional rocket designs.  Co-creating ideas and possible investigations for our science class required an invitation to participate….where I’m not the sole director of what we study and how we study it. If you give students license to participate they frequently take you up on it.   Here’s what he had to say

Hey ms. Ratzel

This is Joey. I was on YouTube when I saw this video that I am sure u will love .http://youtu.be/M5_4kHZsdyc

Sent from my iPhone

Short. Sweet.  To the point.

My response?

OK, let’s do it.

Since we’ve done matchstick rockets a couple of months ago when we studied Newton’s Law. , students will know how the science behind this rocket works.  Joey’s video will give them a new “take” on designing the rocket body which is radically different from what we attempted.  Students were sad we didn’t have more time to spend on rocket testing, so this is perfect timing.

I added this video to our unit’s playlist so I’ll have it next year for our Force & Motion unit.  (Do you create, sharing and build YouTube video playlists?   That’s a whole other post which I’ll write about soon).

Now I have the perfect lesson plan idea for the last two full days of school.  I had been stuck on finding something that would have a science purpose and that would keep students engaged all the way to the last day of school.

Thanks to Joey, we now have a gameplan.

I’m sure there are loads of co-creating examples from your classroom. I would love for you to leave a comment telling us what you’ve done in your classroom to keep students engaged in the last days of school or how you and your students “co-create” lessons.  Or leave a question about anything.  Let’s get the conversation started!

Photocredit….screenshot from YouTube video licensed as Creative Commons license at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M5_4kHZsdyc&feature=youtu.be