Invention by PHS students tested out and it works
Invention by PHS students tested out and it works
Thursday, February 16, 2017
Pattonville High School chemistry teacher Rob Lamb needed a better tool. The makeshift tool he'd assembled for a lab that required a spark to launch a rocket wasn't working well, so he reached out to fellow teacher Darrell Langston and students in his Computer-Aided Design (CAD) II class for help.

Working with Lamb as their client, the students designed several iterations of a custom igniter consisting of an igniter typically found in gas grills and a plastic casing they fabricated with a 3D printer.

Langston's students finalized the design at the end of last semester and began making several copies of the tool using a 3D printer purchased by the Pattonville Education Foundation. In early February, Lamb's students used the igniters for the first time during a stoichiometry lab to test out molar ratios. During the lab, students worked to find the right ratio of different gases needed to launch their "mole rockets" the farthest. The igniter created by Langston's students was used to ignite the rockets.

Lamb said the student-designed tool was much more effective than the makeshift tool he'd been using in the past. For one part of the lab, students could earn extra credit if they launched their rockets from a lab table to strike a target at the end of the room. Lamb said in the past decade, only about three people had ever accomplished a launch that far. During the first lab using the new tool, however, five students had already achieved the extra-credit launch distance.

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Students in the CAD class get a chance to test out their invention during Rob Lamb's chemistry lab.

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No comparison - the student created igniter (right) is shown next to Lamb's makeshift tool.