Helicopters have propellers that let them move sideways, and up and down. They are able to hover, which means they can stay in the air even though they are not moving. In this activity, students can see the movement of a miniature helicopter, and compare it to seeds or leaves traveling in the air. Helicopters are affected by weight, shape, and surface area. Weight, lift, thrust, and drag are the most important factors in flight and should be discussed as part of this activity. Making helicopters helps us to compare and contrast various characteristics of flight.
In this activity, students construct a paper “copter” and investigate some of the factors that determine how the copter works. Click the following link for the complete worksheet.
Most children are familiar with kites but do not always grasp the concept of what makes the kite fly and why. The simplest forms of kites are flat, single-sheet kites. A kite is made of some suitable material, with spars and a bridle to support it. The students will design and construct a device that uses energy to perform a task (e.g., a kite that flies using the wind).
By Steve Spangler.
A Solar Bag is a long plastic bag made from a very thin plastic and colored black to absorb solar energy. The heated air inside the bag provides buoyancy and causes the bag to float. Continue reading
««« Submitted by Otto Wevers,
This little air cannon is so much fun and creates so much wonder, it is sort of incredible that the only versions seem to be the large scale monster air movers that need smoke to make them useful. Continue reading
Moving air can pack a powerful force, especially when Bernoulli’s Principle is involved.
The Soda Can Jump experiment uses Bernouli’s awesome principle to launch an empty soda can out of a coffee mug. It’s a hands-on experience in physics that you won’t want to miss. See Steve Spangler’s website for more details about how this works. Read more…
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