Tuesday, July 18, 2017

College for Kids 2017 - First Half

Two out of four days are complete now for my College for Kids class, STEM DIY. This year I chose to teach two smaller classes of six instead of a larger class of 12. It has worked much better, and I can spend a little more time with individual students and not get too bogged down.

The first day we built the rubber powered helicopters and FPG-9 gliders. There is a small amount of assembly with the helicopters but not much. Just the same the students struggle to visualize how the parts fit together. The helicopters were flown both outside and inside in atrium building. Amazing how high some of the helicopters went. In one flight a helicopter flew above a tall building and got stuck on the roof. FPG-9 gliders were launched from a catwalk indoors, some glided better than others but all seem to curve during the last parts of the flight.

Day two I did some demonstrations of other foam gliders I had built and the new walk along gliders created from a new foam that is stiffer than previous ones by Sciencetoymaker. We went to atrium to try the walk along gliders but first I flew my small Butterfly mini stick type indoor rubber model. The students were really amazed how slow it flew and easily it circled upward.

Some of the students were able to catch on to the walk along gliders and enjoyed the challenge, other quickly gave up on it. I tried to help some students individually that were interested. 

Building the Fantastic Foam Flyer rubber model did not go as well as I had hoped. I brought in a sample to show but still students struggled how to visualize how the parts go together. 

The projects will get even more difficult the next two days, sure glad the class size is smaller. End result was the planes flew pretty well for the most part. If anything it will be the balsa fuselage, not the foam that breaks. 

Reporter  and photographer from local newspaper were there for a story that will run Wednesday, I will update this article with the link.

Bill Kuhl

Related Links

Fantastic Foam Flyer - http://ideas-inspire.com/fantastic-foam-flyer/

Walkalong Glider and Foam Toy Store   http://www.sciencetoymaker.org/airsurf/store.html

Rubber Powered Helicopters from Everything Hobby http://www.everythinghobby.com


  1. Nice work! Yes, six students is about as many as you want to handle if you are an individual teaching. Aeromodelling instruction is one-on-one and even six will keep you plenty busy.

  2. Yup, I just spent a day at Lycoming College for Kids yesterday, making the walkalongs among other projects. About half the kids really got it. We also had to deal with an aggressive HVAC system.