Wednesday, September 16, 2015

What's Going on in Science Class? Hoop Flyers!

Happy Wednesday Friends!
Hope your week is going well! Here's a great activity we just completed that will make your students very happy!
It's all about flying hoop planes!


Once again, let me explain something.
I asked students to bring straws to help out with lab supplies this year.
They didn't just bring straws. They brought thousands of straws!
So, we have been trying to invent ways to use these.
Hoop Flyers came from that.

I saw these cute little flyers somewhere in the vast black hole known as Pinterest and knew we could make these easily enough.
But, I wanted this to be somewhat more scientific than that!

So, we started by just building a hoop flyer and exploring!

Nothing like throwing things in a large room to get kids excited.

Okay, time for the experiment.
Take the original design and modify it by changing one variable.
ONE Variable.

Kids just don't get this. They want to use heavier paper, add three paperclips, a shorter straw, and then fly it. It really takes some discussion to get them to understand that only one variable is changed. So I came upon a genius idea.
A brain pop, if you will....
Take a look:
We listed the flyer specifications and then highlighted the ONE variable that was being changed. This made the kids focus on how that one change affected the flyer.
It worked very, very well.
Some samples of what we tested:
 Above you see hoop flyers with regular dimensions, narrower paper, wider paper, and cardstock.
Above you see the most popular variable tested- the MILKSHAKE Straw.
I think they just  liked the sound of the milkshake straw...

So, which variables produced the best flyers? Well, that was the point of the whole challenge. So, the next step was to combine features that seemed to work best. Kids did exactly what I thought they would do.
They chose everything!
Cause if card stock worked well, and two paperclips worked well, and a milkshake straw worked great, then all of those should make a fabulous flyer!

Y'all this was the most eye-opening (accidental) lesson ever. EVER!

A kid said it best:
"We should have been making a new flyer with the things that would make it BEST, not with ALL the things!"

Hands-on learning at its best! STEM rocks!

What have you been up to in your science class?

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