On April 20, 2013 I taught a class for the Wisconsin AfterSchool Conference at the Marriott West in Madison Wisconsin on building foam gliders. This was my second time teaching for this conference and I was pleased that two of the attendees to my previous class on building mousetrap cars were the first to be in the classroom. One person told me she had shown the mousetrap car to many people and one student was inspired to create a science fair project on mousetrap cars.
To start the class out I had them build the FPG-9 glider with the outline already traced out on the foam plates. I explained how the FPG-9 had been my inspiration to try the various variations of foam gliders and launching samples of these gliders across the room appeared to impress the class. They did well with FPG-9 and some people took extra plates with the outline for a template.
We proceeded next to build the foam plate and straw gliders as described in my website article. This went faster than I thought it might with me only needing to help a couple of people with small issues. The teachers were better at looking at the completed samples I had created to answer building questions than young people normally are. They did some glides in the room and then we converted the gliders into rubber powered airplanes and then more test flying.
I was satisfied with how well the entire lesson had gone considering it was the first time through this. From comments it seemed most of the teachers would like to at least start with the FPG-9 gliders. Hopefully I was able to get across how a simple idea can be taken and expanded on in so many ways.