Development of an Excel® Rocket Simulator for Application in Middle School, High-School, and University STEM Education
Date of Degree Completion
Master of Science (MS)
Craig H. Johnson
Second Committee Member
Third Committee Member
Water rocket activities are one of the most popular STEM activities used in primary, secondary, and higher education yet are void of engineering, though engineering is heavily implied in the STEM acronym. This study investigated the amount of engineering present in water rocket activities, and options for emphasizing engineering more in water rocket activities using an open-platform flight simulator for use by educators to enable students to predict flight parameters of a water rocket they designed, and test those predictions against experimental data. The simulator was constructed in Excel® with many functions, but the function validated in this study was the prediction of maximum height. The simulator was able to predict maximum height of a water rocket at specific input parameters within 5.773% with 95% confidence using a calibration factor to account for unknown sources of error. Further validation of the simulator at other input parameters is needed to ensure the calibration factor enables the accurate prediction of maximum height with varied input parameters, as is common occurrence in STEM water rocket activities.
Hortman, Melvin Lee, "Development of an Excel® Rocket Simulator for Application in Middle School, High-School, and University STEM Education" (2017). All Master's Theses. 596.
Acoustics, Dynamics, and Controls Commons, Adult and Continuing Education Commons, Applied Mechanics Commons, Computer-Aided Engineering and Design Commons, Energy Systems Commons