Monday, February 23, 2015

Comments on Projects I Wanted to Share

Recently I ran across some comments from various sources on a couple of the projects on my website Over the several years I have been sharing these projects through the Internet, I really do not receive much feedback. Some people have sent comments now that the website is in WordPress format and includes comment capability. I have been able to help a few people with minor problems they were having,but most feedback has been pretty good. In doing this everything has been an expense on my part, I do not complain because it does make me feel good. In the back of my mind I have thought about including some advertising on my blog and website to help pay for some of the cost. This blog now has some advertising, I sure hope this will not be a turn off to some people. 

Below are some of the comments I had found for a foam glider that I named as the "Hammer Down Catapult Glider" and to the Syringe Hydraulic Arm project. I had recently sent a sample kit to a teacher friend in India and the completed project was a big hit with the students.

Hi Bill,
I have read through the .pdf and like the design. The directions seem to be simple to follow as well. I really like the use of "trash" for most of the materials. I use a lot of "trash" in my classroom. I find it is much easier and middle school and high school students are funny to watch as they oooh and aaahh of their finds in my boxes of materials. I believe that I can work this into my next unit of force, motion, and energy. If I give it a try, I will report back with how the students did.
Thanks for sharing.    Susan  

Hi Bill,
Last year when teaching about forces I had a team of retired pilots that volunteered at the Pacific Aviation Museum at Pearl Harbor here on Oahu come in to talk about planes. They brought in pre-cut bamboo model airplanes for me to teach the kids about the parts of a plane. I read through the article and I love the pictures/directions. Looks simple and something I can incorporate this year even if I can't get that same group of volunteers to come in again. The kids loved learning about the forces of flight.

Very detailed and intuitive article. I feel like the real learning would come out of the students being able to make their own glider, although this looks like no simple task, with plenty of room for error.
I can imagine going through all the motions and then being truly excited as me and my group of students run out to the schoolyard to test our gliders, only to find out that we didnt give the wing enough angle or something and the glider barely gets off the ground.

I suppose failure in this instance could be seen as a learning experience, but may also be discouraging and time consuming to have a bunch of grounded student gliders.
If all goes well, the activity could be a real blast. One could teach the physics of everything in great or sparse detail depending on the age group. Would you recommend this for all ages? If I were to teach my elementary students, would you recommend allowing them to build the gliders, or bringing in a few pre-built ones for them to fly before I go over the basic concepts of flight, motion, lift etc. with them?
Thanks for offering.

Hi Bill. I love the resources you share. My middle school kids are dying to do the foam glider activity. I printed the article out and gave it to a few of my second year Design and Engineering students for their review. I told them I wanted them to go through the article, try to visualize it, and then Tuesday next week, we will gather materials and have them be a test group to see how well they were able to build the glider from your directions.
Their next task then is to rewrite the directions in the areas where they were tripped up or found unclear. I’ve never seen a group of students more engaged in the actual process or reading an article and sharing suggestions and brainstormed ideas with one another.
I will ask them to write up formal feedback and provide their input here. What a great tool for students to read for meaning and purpose. I also love the idea they will be using the application process for solving a problem and finding a solution. I look forward to hearing how others did as well.

Wow! This is really cool! Thanks for sharing this. I'd like to say this will be a really great project for my students and my two sons, but who am I kidding, I want to make one for myself! The link gives very detailed instructions and pictures. Great post, it's amazing what you can make out of garbage.

Syringe Hydraulic Arm

This project is presented so well that anyone can do it. I love the steps shown with pictures and the materials are very easy to acquire. I can't wait to try it.
Thanks for providing this to all of us.  Adah

You are my hero Bill. This model is well done. I shared the article with my current Design and Engineering class, and of course they are begging to build it. Their comments included, “Wow! That looks so professional!” , “So, are you saying I can go to my local hardware store and buy the parts and make this for myself? Really?” , “Can I make one this year for extra credit?”

Bill Kuhl

Additional Resources

Foam Plate and Straw Gliders

Foam Jet II Foam Glider

Simple Glider Curriculum

Syringe Hydraulic Arm

Videos I Created

Pictures of ScienceGuyOrg Events 2012 - 3 minute video of the many activities that year

Fun With Foam Gliders - 9 minute video about inspiration and experiments with foam gliders

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