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As Team Leaders, teachers can earn at least ten Professional Development Points (PDPs) through ten hours of activities. Three hours are provided through the competition activities organized by WPI. Seven additional hours are provided by team work organized by the Teacher. Teachers will need to submit a signed summary of activity hours.

Competition, 3 Hours

The competition is expected to be at least three hours in duration. During this time Team Leaders will coach their teams through poster presentations and launching activities.

Team Work, 7 Hours

Each team leader is reasonably expected to spend an additional three hours, most likely more, on team work. The team work could be organized as follows:

  1. Hold an initial team meeting to discuss the design of rockets, launchers and posters, and assign team member responsibilities.
  2. Hold a second team meeting to commence the hands-on activities of building the rockets and launchers.
  3. Hold a third team meeting to launch rockets and gain practical experience choosing launch pressures and angles required to land the rockets on the desired target.

Assessment and Award of PDPs

In terms of the language used in State and Federal guidelines, WPI will assess and award the PDPs on the basis of teachers demonstrating the science and technology proficiencies listed below. The proficiencies will be deemed to have been demonstrated by the completion of the products listed below.


Teachers gain and impart to their students a deeper understanding of Newtonian mechanics, relating the thrust, air drag, rocket mass and launch angle to the rocket trajectory height, range and time of flight. Teachers gain and impart to their students a deeper understanding of thermodynamics, relating the initial potential energy stored in a pressurized water-fuel tank to the final kinetic energy of the rocket through a nearly adiabatic process of energy conversion. Finally, teachers gain and impart a deeper understanding of the technologies involved in the development of aeronautical systems.


Products consist of completed activities and tangible physical objects.

  1. Completed Activities - Teachers organize and coach their teams through the completion of their posters and the successful launching of their rockets. Underling the DOE language, they develop and implement activities for their students.
  2. Tangible Physical Objects - Tangible Products. The teams build rockets and launchers, and prepare posters.