Algebra II classes launch model rockets for parabola study


Max Kiyoi

Jayden Choi (26’) gets ready to pump up the rocket using water pressure as his classmate Haben Naizghi (‘26) sets his rocket into place.

Max Kiyoi, Staff Writer

To reinforce concepts within quadratic equations, Mathematics teacher Samantha Allen and her Algebra II classes built and tested rockets to dissect parabolic motion.

“I was trying to come up with an example of something that’s relatable to quadratics. I like to do a project for each unit if I can and that is the first thing that came to mind. Each individual group is coming up with their specific quadratic equation of their rocket,” said Allen

Math used in everyday aspects can help students understand how what they are learning can be translated into a possible career. After the launch tests, students wrote calculations and a summary describing how their tests went. 

“This relates to how we’re finding the equations and directions of our rockets. Ours didn’t go too high, but it went pretty far,” said Saanvi Sharma (‘26).

Part of student’s grades was their presentation or decoration, so some were inspired by themes such as Patrick from Spongebob, pictures of Allen’s dog Cooper, and sharks, an animal favorite of their teacher. They were inspired to get creative and choose different themes to influence their rockets using any materials they desired.

“She [Allen] wanted us to do a real like model of sorts, she just thought launching rockets was fun. Our rocket launch was average, I would say, not anything special,” said Matthew Liu (‘26).

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  • Erick Liu (‘26) jumps to catch a rocket launched by his classmates.

  • Math teacher Samantha Allen and her 3rd period class presenting their rockets.

  • Dashell Finn (‘25) and Akarsh Singh (‘25) pose with their group’s personalized rocket.