The first challenge for the fifth graders will be to work with a systems model to create a chemical reaction leading to a small explosion.

The second challenge for the fifth grade is:

As a team of engineers, create a chemical reaction that will launch a film canister rocket as high as possible into the air. Add structures onto the rocket to control the path of the rocket with the ultimate goal of landing as close as possible to the targeted landing site.

Matter is anything that takes up space and has mass; everything around us is made of matter. The way the matter's molecules are placed determine what kind of matter it is.

States of Matter
States of matter are the different forms of matter; there are three that we will focus on: solid, liquid and gas.

Solid Solids have a definite shape; their size and shape remain the same and their molecules cannot move.

Liquid Liquids don't have a definite shape; they take the shape of their container and their molecules can move around.

Gas Gases do not have a definite shape and their molecules are free and move around very fast.

Chemical Reaction A chemical reaction is the process that involves rearranging the molecules of a substance. Something new is created through the rearrangement.

A solution is a liquid mixture where one substance is blended evenly throughout another substance.


Energy is the ability to do work, or to move matter from one position to another. Energy is how things move and change. It is all around us and takes many forms.

Potential Energy

Potential Energy is energy that is stored.

Kinetic Energy

Kinetic Energy is energy that is moving. It is also know as energy of motion.


There are three main types of variables: independent, dependent, and controlled. The independent variable is the factor that the scientist changes. Dependent variables are what a scientists measures or observes. It depends on the independent variable. A controlled variable that does not change in an experiment.


Thrust is a force, a push. When a system pushes mass in one direction, there is thrust just as large in the opposite direction.

Air Resistance

Air resistance is a frictional force that air pushes against a moving object. It is also known as drag. Air resistance always tries to slows a moving object down.


Inertia is when an object will not change in its motion; that includes a change in direction or a change in speed. An object will
stay still or keep moving at the same speed and in a straight line, unless an outside force acts on it causing it to change.

Newton's Laws
of Motion

Newton's First Law of Motion, or the Law of Inertia, states that if a body is at rest or moving at a constant speed in a straight line, it will remain at rest or keep moving in a straight line at constant speed unless it is acted upon by a force.

Newton's Third Law of Motion states that for every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction and they are equal in strength.


An engineer is a person who designs and builds products, machines, systems, or structures. Engineers want to know how and why things work. They have scientific training that they use to make practical things. Often, they are presented with a problem and design a way to solve that problem.

Click this link to view the phenomena displayed in the classroom

Click this link to view links that will extend your learning

Click here for the photo gallery for STEM '21

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