Free Lesson

It’s Just Rocket Science

Explore the scientific forces of motion.

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Grade Level 3-8


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Up, up, and away–launch a rocket to the Moon

NASA’s Artemis program plans to put the first woman and first person of color on the Moon. In 2022, the first Artemis mission went to the Moon without any humans onboard. In 2024, we’ll send the first Artemis mission with humans . . . and many more missions are planned through 2040. But how do the rockets even get there? The basic science is surprisingly simple.

Expand your science unit with our interactive Rocket Science extension lesson. Students become Propulsion Engineers as they explore the scientific forces of motion that send rockets up, up, and away! They’ll perform hands-on explorations to collect data and see how Newton’s Laws influence rocket launches.

Then, integrate our post-lesson language arts/writing, math, and art activities.

While this lesson primarily focuses on engineering themes, it also integrates Earth and space science topics. This lesson and corresponding activities are designed to be used in both formal and informal education settings.

  • Observe Newton’s Laws in action

  • Conduct hands-on investigations with partners

  • Understand how Newton’s Laws apply to the launch of a large rocket, like those of the Artemis missions

  • Enhance scientific vocabulary

  • Approximate program time: 45-50 minutes

  • Pre- and post-lesson activities available

  • Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) aligned

  • Common Core State Standards (CCSS) aligned

In Partnership

Artemis World extension lessons are based upon work in partnership with Minecraft Education and NASA. Any opinions, findings, conclusions and/or recommendations expressed in this material are those of Challenger Center and do not necessarily reflect the views of Minecraft Education and/or NASA.