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Things that fly

Hello again,

Last week I focused on the natural world. This week we're looking at things that can be made or manufactured.

Flight Investigations

As I've mentioned before, coming up with investigations and carrying them out is a great way to learn more about the scientific method and how science works as well as practising planning and experimental design, data collection/measuring, graphical representation of the results and drawing conclusions.  Here are some of my favourite flight related experiments.

Hoop flyers have several different names and are simple and quick to build and fly surprisingly far and well.  The design also lends itself nicely to simple variation for instance you could try changing the number/length of straws, number/size/colour of the loops replace the straw with a skewer or try making the loops with different types of paper.

Alternatively these sycamore flyers spin as they slowly fall in a similar way to sycamore seeds.  Again you can vary their size, add paperclips, change materials and see what happens.

Finally this parachute activity is themed round World War I but could be adapted to leisure parachuting, emergency aid delivery or protecting mars landers (but not moon landers - can you find out why?)


Engineering and Craft Activities

Why not try your hand at this record breaking paper plane.  How far can you get it to fly?  Alternatively you could have a go at this plane which is designed to loop the loop.  What are the similarities or differences between these and any plane designs that you know?

If planes don't appeal, how about a tetrahedral kite?  This page also has a great link to the oldest known English picture of a kite and instructions on how to build one (even though it isn't called that).  

For younger children Rosy Revere, Engineer is a lovely book which illustrates how testing including failing are a vital part of ultimate success.  

For older children, these KS3/4 science and maths resources prodiced by the Royal Academy of Engineering are based round the topic of drones (also check out their other educational resources on the same page).


And finally ...

As mentioned in my very first blog post, the Big Science Event is a great competition where children get to design and carry out their own experiments.  Science Oxford are now running a version of the Big Science Event for everyone at home.  So put your thinking hats on and carry out your experiments as soon as possible.  The competition closes on 13th July.