Yesterday for our bit of homeschool science we made planetary landing shuttles. But we can’t just leave them on the planet. We need to be able to retrieve the planetary landing shuttles. This made for a great problem-solving STEM project.
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Supplies needed for retrieving a planetary landing shuttle STEM project
your planetary landing shuttle from yesterday, building supplies, yarn, rope, hooks (my kids used broken hangers)
Requirements for retrieving planetary landing shuttle
As before I used a rubric (on my subscriber page, join my newsletter) to let them know what they had to do. It was fairly straightforward on this project:
- Is there a way to “pick up” the shuttle?
- did anything fall out of the shuttle as it was retrieved
- did you successfully retrieve the shuttle
Designed our retrieval system
As the kids worked on their retrieval systems and their shuttles, they realized their shuttles would need some revisions. None of them had a way to be picked up by any sort of retrieval system, and most of them would have materials falling out as they were pulled back up.
So, back to the drawing board, they went. Batman ended up adding a latch to his storage bay, and when that wasn’t secure enough went with the engineer solution of “add more duct tape”. Princess went with the brute force method and taped a broken hanger to her shuttle giving her a big huge way to hook her shuttle.
Testing our retrieval systems
As before we dropped our shuttles to simulate how they would have landed, because there’s no guarantee it would land the way we wanted.
Then we took turns trying to pick up and retrieve the landing shuttles.
It was quite fun to try and everyone agreed it was a lot harder than it looked.