Fly like an airplane, pop like a bubble!

Fly like an airplane, pop like a bubble!

Recently, students have taken up creating and testing out different airplane designs.

While using a kit where they thought of several questions before conceptualizing their design, here are some questions that arose: How many wings is their plane going to have? How will they weight the plane? How will they design the wings, keeping them straight or with a slight bend, etc. Afterwards, students then created model planes and tested how well they took flight. After initial launches, campers would sometimes had to go back to the drawing board and redesign their original concept.

Some skills and vocabulary used during lessons:

  • Understand the concept of forces
  • Identify what forces would make an airplane fly higher or land, and what would make an airplane speed up or slow down while moving through the air
  • Recognize that engineers of all disciplines use their knowledge of forces to design machines, structures and appliances

Paper airplane designs were explored, too!

The last lesson revolved around bubbles, and how they “fly” or float away. A bubble and the air trapped inside of it weigh next to nothing. To achieve a float, the bubble hitches a ride on a gas slightly denser than the air trapped inside of it (otherwise known as carbon dioxide). While understanding bubbles may be different from our airplanes lesson of the day, overall this sure was a fun way to end the week!