How does this movie "October Sky" connect the importance of both math and science in constructing rockets?

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mwestwood | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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The construction of rockets involves both math and science, of course.  On a very simple level, if one wants the rocket to reach a certain point, trigonometry is employed:  Height of tall object = tan 0 x distance to tall object.  One can also calculate a rocket's distance using angles in geometry.

Certainly aerodynamics is involved in rocket lauching.  Working with the science of the motion of air when it interacts with an object and through mathematical analysis, Homer Hickman and his friends in "October Sky" are able to launch rockets that travel much farther.  In the movie, Homer's original rockets are errant and terrorize some of the townspeople.  Even after recalculating, Homer finds that he must launch his rockets outside of town.  He teams up with Quentin, the school's math geek, who has an interest in rocket science.  After some failures, the boys work on new designs with Quentin's mathematical calculations.

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