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Old 05-01-2005, 07:26 PM   #1
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School talk on flight

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I have a school talk this week on flight.
How planes fly and the like.
I was going to start with the different airfoils.
Any suggestions on benefit over one type to another and why??
(symmetrical, semi symmetrical and flat bottom)
Any help would be greatly and eagerly passed on to the young minds of today.
Thanks for your help and your time.
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Old 05-01-2005, 09:21 PM   #2
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I think that may be a little advanced for a starting point..try the old area of high pressure(pushing up) vs area of low pressure(sucking up) arguement and get them involved if you can.
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Old 05-01-2005, 09:46 PM   #3
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After you explain how a wing "flies" because of Bernouli's principle, just wait untill a kid asks you how a flat bottom wing can fly inverted..

Seriously, there are many great books on the subject - perhaps you can get to the library before the talk day? I have a few here but I dont think I would be able to send them to you in time...

What grade are you talking to? I think if its grade 8 or less keep it really simple... high school I would get a little more technical.
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if its got a wing or two and an engine - I like it!
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Old 05-01-2005, 10:08 PM   #4
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hey don...

how about showing how the flight surfaces work.. i.e rudder aileron.....

bring in a model and show them hands on... show them the deflections and how it affects flight..

get them to guess on how the plane will react if lets say... the left ail. goes up and the right goes down.. type of thing... or elevator is up or down..
im from Sudbury Ontario!
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Old 05-02-2005, 06:33 AM   #5
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All good Ideas guys.
I was going to bring in a few different models.
it is grade 6 so I will keep it very simple thanks

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Old 05-02-2005, 07:34 AM   #6
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This will either be one of the most enjoyable days you can have or it can be very stressful. (Most likely the former) I have worked with kids in this age group a fair bit, and they are FUN! Their intelligence level is such that they can ask some really good questions, and understand the answers, but they haven't quite gotten to the age where everything is greated by cynicism. This can make for a spirited time.

The big thing is, they have to know you are enthused by what you are involved in. They will pick up on that right away. Also, talk with them, rather than to them or at them, let them get involved in the discussion as much as possible and it will fly! (Pun intended)

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Old 05-02-2005, 07:54 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by hyperrockets
it is grade 6 so I will keep it very simple thanks
But try not to patronize. To add perspective, I was a modeller in grade 6 and read everything I could get my hands on. I had read of Bournoulli, the math was beyond me at the time but I had a reasonable grasp of the concept. I even wrote a science project paper refuting it as the only explanation for lift based on some of my reading related to surface tension combined with my rubber powered model fitted with a custom symmetrical wing. The project was flawed in pronciple but, it must have fooled the teacher well enough as I received a perfect mark.
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Si fractum non sit, noli id reficere - (If it ain't broke, don't fix it).
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Old 05-02-2005, 08:21 AM   #8
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Why not focus on the four forces of flight. Each one can be demonstrated with a static model.
I won a science fair in grade school with this type of demonstration.
"The only way of discovering the limits of the possible is to venture a little way past them into the impossible." - Arthur C. Clarke
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Old 05-02-2005, 08:29 AM   #9
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Morning Don

I like the demonstration where one takes a light piece of paper. Curve the leading edge of the paper with a twisting hold and blow at the leading edge. Blow hard and see the results.

All the best with your presentation.

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Old 05-02-2005, 10:50 AM   #10
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Flight lesson

To keep kids of the grade 6 age interested, you must keep the lesson experiential. This age needs "hands on" learning and visuals to grasp concepts. I taught middle years for many years and when I read your post, I visualized you dying a slow death in front of a class. While airfoils may be interesting, you have to get the kids excited about flying before teaching them the "why it flies" part. Some suggestions I have: bring a couple of models in, explain flight in general; control surfaces etc, then turn on the transmitter and let everyone have a go at wiggling the sticks. Turn the model so the prop faces away from the students and move it in conjunction with a kid moving the sticks so they understand pitch, roll and yaw. If you have a small electric, it would be nice for the kids to see a prop spinning. Hold it facing away from the students and make sure the ADHD kid doesn't have the Tx at that time! If you can, bring in some video of either full size aerobatics or exciting flight. Now that you have them, you can explain "why" it flies etc. You have to think backwards when teaching flight to kids. For example, what got you into R/C? Seeing a trainer stooge around and a hearty discussion of airfoils? Probably not. More than likely you saw some hot dog with an Extra knife edging at an airshow or a Mustang bent on a full throttle, cheating flutter strafing run. Get the kids excited about it and they'll follow you anywhere... even to a discussion of airfoils! Have fun and you'll make it fun. Enjoy,
Unknown airport with Cessna 150 circling overhead, identify yourself."
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