We began lab with a demonstration of lift. Students helped me place ping pong balls into a column of air produced by a hair dryer. It appeared the balls were levitating. Why didn’t they blow away? We were investigating the Bernoulli Principle. Then we placed various cardboard tubes over the balls and created wind tunnels. NASA uses wind tunnels to test scale models of aircraft and spacecraft. Click here to learn how to repeat this investigation at home. Try a variety of balls and and tubes.
Then, second grade engineers applied what they had previously learned about rotocopters, gravity, and lift to create their own rotocopter designs. How will the rotocopter turn? We took this STEM challenge through the Design Process and tested them in the rotunda.
Through this project, we learned:
- There are many ways to solve a problem. (Creativity)
- Most of our first designs did not rotate. (Problem Solving)
- We can learn from each other. (Collaboration)
- We learned something from each design. (Fail forward.)
- Solving a problem takes time. (Perseverance)