Abstract for: Dynamics of Solid Fuel Rocket Engines: Exploring Physics and Feedback

Increased interest in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) curriculum opens the door to many non-linear and dynamically complex systems for study. Gaining a basic understanding of dynamic complexity can get lost in the detail complexity of the subject. This paper uses the dynamics of a solid fuel rocket engine to describe a modeling structure that allows three layers of exploration. The first exploration layer provides an interface for gaining an intuitive feel for the system through interactive experimentation. The second exploration layer provides an overview of the feedback structure of the major components of the system. Finally, the third exploration layer provides the mathematical and scientific details one component at a time for users who desire a more detailed understanding of rocket engine dynamics. It is proposed that the presented model structure could be used as a blue-print for describing other dynamically complex processes within a successful STEM curriculum.