Friday, August 29, 2014

Five for Friday Oh My- It's All About Flight!

Hope you guys had a great week!
We are flying things around the lab like crazy people!
Helicopters
Airplanes
and
Rockets!
There is a purpose!

It's All About
Helicopters, Airplanes, and Rockets, Oh My!
STEM Challenges: Three fabulous challenges all about flight. Each involves the scientific method, testing, and then analyzing results to build the ultimate helicopter, airplane, or rocket!

For most groups in STEM class this week it was time to analyze data gathered in last week's experiments and then design a flying craft using that data. We followed the Scientific Method and then finished up with an engineering design element! Doesn't that sound fabulous? We love combining the scientific method and then designing based on results. It's also real life, folks!

HELICOPTERS!
For Helicopters third grade students learned that medium sized with some weight added worked best. 
They determined this by experimenting with different weights of paper and also by adding things to the helicopter "blades". They decorated and flew their ultimate copters.
STEM: Kids are decorating the final design of their helicopters after testing many versions. Will it fly the best?

STEM Challenge: Kids create paper twirling helicopters and then test them in many sizes and weights of paper and then analyze results!
The helicopters are easy to cut out and fold and the most fun to fly. You just have to stand on a chair or table and let them go!
STEM Challenge: Kids create paper twirling helicopters and then test them in many sizes and weights of paper and then analyze results!
You can see a string in some of the photos. This was my way of "controlling" the experiment. See, I told you we were using the scientific method! One thing we discussed was that dropping the helicopters from different heights would alter our results, so kids had to use the height of that string to make that variable all the same for each experiment. Talk about learning some stuff!
Alright, that was third grade!

AIRPLANES!
For fourth grade they completed airplane distance trials, shared their models, and then started working on the drawings of their ultimate airplanes. We are not quite to that part yet!
This worked in a similar way to the helicopter event. The paper airplanes were launched, distances measured, and then parts of the airplane were modified in some way. Then we launched and measured again. Next step was to take a look at all the models and try to determine which modifications produced the best flights. Most groups are now building the best version of an airplane and wew il launch those next week.
STEM Challenge: Paper airplanes! Kids test many versions by launching and recording flight distances. Planes are modified many times and then all the data is analyzed. Finally, the best version of a plane is produced! Will it fly the longest distance?
What do you think will happen?
Okay, that was fourth graders!

ROCKETS!
For fifth grade we analyzed rocket flights and determined that small amounts of water added to the "fuel" worked better than lots of water. They set about next to design the ultimate rocket with decorations, fins, and nose cones. This last design part happened after we had tested these rockets outside for two class sessions. We were using rocket fuel- alka seltzer tablets- in differing quantities and with different amounts of water to try to find the magic recipe for the best rocket launch.
STEM Challenge: Time for rockets! Using plastic canisters, effervescing tablets, and water, students test many versions of the rocket. Using the data gathered the next step is to design the best looking and highest flying rocket!
Each team now has an amount of the effervescing tablet and water that will make their rockets shoot the highest. They are adding decorations to make their rocket bodies look like real rockets.
STEM Challenge: Time for rockets! Using plastic canisters, effervescing tablets, and water, students test many versions of the rocket. Using the data gathered the next step is to design the best looking and highest flying rocket!
Their final rockets are really cute, but we are learning that adding weight with those supplies will become a factor in the flights.

These three flight STEM challenges are just spectacular. They each involve experimenting, controlling variables, modifying, more testing, and then analyzing the results! Fabulous stuff!


If you'd like to see more about these fantastic flying machines you can click right here: 


Thanks for stopping by!

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