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Rocket scientist for a day: Investigating alternatives for chemical propulsion
KTH, School of Education and Communication in Engineering Science (ECE), Lärande. (Vetenskapens hus)
KTH, School of Chemical Science and Engineering (CHE), Chemistry, Organic Chemistry.
KTH, School of Education and Communication in Engineering Science (ECE), Lärande. (Vetenskapens hus)
2012 (English)In: Journal of Chemical Education, ISSN 0021-9584, E-ISSN 1938-1328, Vol. 89, no 10, 1301-1304 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

This laboratory experiment introduces rocket science from a chemistry perspective. The focus is set on chemical propulsion, including its environmental impact and future development. By combining lecture-based teaching with practical, theoretical, and computational exercises, the students get to evaluate different propellant alternatives. To complete the task, they need to use several important curricular concepts, such as the breaking and formation of bonds, redox reactions, and thermodynamics. They also apply basic computational electronic structure calculations to investigate the energetic content of hitherto nonexisting alternatives. Finally, actual chemical rocket propulsion is demonstrated through the assembly and testing of a model rocket motor, employing a commercially available kit. The full experiment was developed for upper-level high school classes and is completed in a 3-h lab period. The experiment, or parts of it, has also been successfully used both in undergraduate programs and continuing education for teachers. 

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2012. Vol. 89, no 10, 1301-1304 p.
Keyword [en]
Applications of Chemistry, Calorimetry/Thermochemistry, Computational Chemistry, Covalent Bonding, First-Year Undergraduate/General, Hands-On Learning/Manipulatives, High School/Introductory Chemistry, Interdisciplinary/Multidisciplinary, Oxidation/Reduction, Physical Chemistry
National Category
Chemical Sciences Pedagogy
URN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-103647DOI: 10.1021/ed200848rISI: 000308788300016ScopusID: 2-s2.0-84866158783OAI: diva2:561307

QC 20121018

Available from: 2012-10-18 Created: 2012-10-17 Last updated: 2012-10-29Bibliographically approved

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Angelin, MarcusGabrielsson, ErikGumaelius, Lena
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