Additional information related to http://www.ideas-inspire.com website and personal experiences of Bill Kuhl.
Sunday, August 25, 2013
STEM Day at Minnesota State Fair - What I Learned
I had the
wonderful opportunity to display my science projects at the Minnesota
State Fair for STEM Day this year in the afternoon. This gave me some
time in the morning to observe what many of the
other participants were doing. It gave me so many ideas to try at
another venue sometime in the future. There are so many more ideas than
those I will describe here but the following are somewhat related to
what I am doing.
Several of the booths were doing aviation related activities. The
Childrens Museum of Duluth had two really cool paper plane launchers
that looked like a mini runway. I have seen where similar launchers can
be purchased but these were custom made and really
shot the paper plane very fast every time.
At another booth had you build a glider that consisted of two paper
circles joined by a plastic straw. The person that had me build the
glider did such a good job of making me think about how it might work
while testing and asking what I knew of simple aerodynamics.
With the glider completed then the object was to throw it through a
Hula Hoop, not so easy.
Kids were building gliders from straws and card stock at another booth also. They had other cool activities going on also.
Then there was the Flying Gizmo Airshow which I was able
to watch the first part of but then had to get my booth ready. The
gentleman doing the show did such a wonderful job of getting audience
participation by asking questions and bringing kids
on the stage to fly the gizmo's. He started out asking what was the very
first thing to fly? It was insects and he used the radio controlled
dragonfly to demonstrate this, I had used the same dragonfly in my
Pioneers of Aviation Demonstration. The young lady
that had a chance to fly it had the dragon fly almost hit me sitting in
the crowd. Luckily I got a video clip of that. For the next part of the
demonstration an ornithopter that looks like a bird was used, I might
have to buy one of those.
Not related to flight was a device to test how steady you
could move a wand with a loop at the end over copper tubing that had
bends in it. This was not easy and when you touched the tubing a light
would come on. If I build something like this
I might use a buzzer instead of a light.
It really was a great day and I will share some thoughts I had about my booth in another blog post. There was another neat trick where you would try to float a paperclip on a glass of water, I need to check that out too.