Wednesday, July 17, 2013

College for Kids Report First Two Days 2013

I have been teaching a class at the local university for several years now known as "College for Kids". In the first years I taught a model airplane building and flying class, but the last few years I created a course I call "Engineering Through Models" that includes several different model projects over the one week course. I try to switch in a new project every couple of years, this year we will be building the Syringe Hydraulic Arm for the first time but will drop the model solar cars.  The lineup for this year includes; foam plate gliders, rubber powered model plane from foam plates, model wind turbine, mousetrap car, and syringe hydraulic arm.

Launching FPG-9 Gliders

Launching Rubber Powered Planes

The first day of the College for Kids class could have gone better, the students did OK with the FPG-9 gliders but when they started building the rubber powered planes there was some confusion. I would say to cut a piece 2" x 4" out of foam plate and some would cut much smaller pieces. My idea was to give them general proportions but let them use some of their own creativity. Some of the flying surfaces turned out way too small, I replaced some of the really bad ones. We did not finish the rubber powered planes on the first day as I had hoped.

Typical Rubber Powered Foam Plane

Flies More Like Missile

Day #2 and there was another helper and a bigger room to use which were both Welcome. We finished up the planes in another 20 minutes and flew them in big atrium room. Some of the ones with the tiny wings flew like missiles but some planes flew pretty well. The one student had his plane climbed up to the ceiling which is 3 stories up and flew just below the ceiling, everyone was in awe. We moved on to build the model wind turbines and some of those were finished today so we are back on my schedule.

Wind Turbines

If there is enough time left on the last day, I plan to have the students fix up there planes from what they have learned and fly again.

I really think this activity has potential, very little balsa is needed and the foam is cheap. There is some breakage but not as bad with many balsa and tissue planes. Low temp glue guns work fine for building the planes in a hurry.

Bill Kuhl

Reflections on College for Kids 2013

Creativity - Following Directions - Failure  

Spatial Ability and Building Models

The Evolution of my Mousetrap Car Design

Join My Facebook Group for Simple Foam Free Flight Airplanes

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