Rocket Flight Analysis Directions:

  1. Find your rocket photos.  Look in M:drive → Stapleton → Read Only → Physics → [your class' folder].  If you did not launch a rocket, use the pictures in the "if you have no rocket..." folder.
  2. Click this link to open the rocket video analysis spreadsheet.  Save it to your own folder.  Then close the spreadsheet and open it from your folder.
  3. Tape some transparency film over the computer screen.  Make sure that your tape goes on the frame of the screen, not on the screen itself.
  4. Open your first rocket picture using "Microsoft Office Picture Manager."  To do this, you can right click on your first picture, and then select "open with."  Search for picture manager.
  5. Zoom in until the rocket is nice and large.  Practice using the arrow keys to go back and forth between pictures.  Now go to the photo right before your rocket begins to move.
  6. Once you're zoomed in appropriately, and you're on the first photo, use a ruler to measure your rocket's length on the screen, in centimeters.  Type this into the appropriate cell B3 in the analysis spreadsheet.
  7. Then find the box (B2) for the actual height of your rocket, in meters.  Type it in.
  8. Do not push hard against the screen in this next step!!!!  Please be gentle.  Using a transparency pen, mark the position of one part of your rocket on the transparency paper.  This is your rocket's position in photo 1. 
  9. Without changing the zoom, advance to the next picture (photo 2) and mark the new position of the same part of your rocket.  Using your ruler, measure the distance between your marks, in centimeters.  Enter this number into cell B4 your spreadsheet.
  10. Now the spreadsheet should have calculated the actual number of meters moved by your rocket.  Find that number in the white box B5.  Type that distance into cell E2 (the number of meters moved between the first two photos).
  11. Cell F2 tells you how many seconds went by between photos 1 and 2.  Use that time and the velocity from E2 to calculate the rocket's average velocity between photos 1 and 2.  Remember, v = d/t.  Enter this velocity in Cell G2.  [There is a calculator on your computer.  You can find it under Start Menu→All Programs→Accessories→Calculator. ]
  12. You have just calculated your rocket's velocity between photos 1 and 2.  Now continue calculating your rocket's velocity between all of your other photos.  Enter them into the spreadsheet.  Save your work often!
  13. Your rocket will probably leave your screen before your spreadsheet is full.  That's okay!  When you're done, save your work.  Then print your two graphs.
  14. To see your "velocity vs. time" graph, click on the tab at the bottom of your spreadsheet.  Print it.
  15. Then click the "height vs. time" tab.  Print that graph, too.
  16. Staple your graphs together, put your name on them, and give them to Mr. Stapleton.