Copters in Flight


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.

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Go Fly a Kite


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).

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Hopping Pop Cans, ala Bernouli

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…

Click on the comment box at the top to let us know what you thought of this experiment.