OpenRocket is an open source model rocket simulator that students can use to develop and test rocket designs. Students build their rocket designs by assembling pieces from the component gallery. As they add components to their designs students see the pieces fit together in a sequence. Selecting components is just one aspect of using OpenRocket. Students have to specify the characteristics of each component to make them function as a system in their rockets. When students test their designs the results are displayed as a flight graph.
I found three good OpenRocket tutorial videos on YouTube. Those are embedded below.
Applications for Education
OpenRocket does not have a slick interface, but the depth of customization and feedback more than make up for that. OpenRocket could be a great tool to students to use to test and see various physics concepts in action.
Thanks to Doug Peterson for sharing this on Twitter earlier this week.