Session 2 Week 2 Science for Dolphin Swimmers and Time Travelers – Flight

Paper Things that Fly

Today we reviewed the steps that engineers go through to imagine, design, and build things to solve problems.  We talked about the forces of lift and gravity, and how flying machines use an imbalance between those forces.  

We made a paper helicopter and experimented with shortening the blades, adding extra weight, and dropping them upside down.

We made a simple paper airplane and a loop airplane and experimented with how those fly differently, adding tape, weight, or flaps.  Students had the option of creating a second paper airplane (a Nakamura Lock).

Here are some questions you can ask your child:  

  • What happened the first time you dropped your helicopter?  How did it fly differently when you added a paper clip?  Why do you think that changed how it flew?  What happened when you dropped your helicopter upside down?
  • What was the difference between the airplane and the loop plane?  Why do you think they flew differently?  Did you add flaps to your airplane wings?  How did that change how your airplane flew?
  • If your child also built the Nakamura Lock:  Why do the two different designs fly differently?