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Students Builds and Launches Rockets in
Upward Bound’s Pre-Calculus Class
This past summer, 2007, in the Upward Bound Program, at Georgia State University, Students in Mr. Duncan’s Pre- Calculus
Class, put their Calculus skills together in the designing, building and launching of their High Flying Rockets.  The summer class
began with the students forming Rocket teams of four to learn Pre-Calculus.  Monday, Wednesdays, and Thursdays were used to
learn the principles of Calculus.  Fridays was used to build their rockets.  The students studied and learned the principles involved
in the Cartesian Plane and Functions.  The Mission of the Rocket Project was to use the Position and Velocity Functions for free
falling objects to calculate the maximum height and initial velocity of their Rocket.  Listed below is the Position and Velocity
Functions and the terms contained in each function.  The most important scientific data the students measured for their rocket
experiment is the time from the rocket is launched into space to when the rocket reaches its maximum height and starts to return to
the earth.  

Position Function:        S(t) = -1/2gt2 + Vot + So     or    S(t) = -16t2 + Vot + So                           

Velocity Function:   V(t) = -32t + Vo

Where: