Within the scope of “STEM Discovery Campaign 2021” organized by Scientix, between 05-16 April 2021 I had the opportunity to apply my learning scenario called “How Things Fly”, which I prepared for Aerospace in Class MOOC, online with my student group between the ages of 9- 10.

With this activity, it is aimed to discover how objects fly and what are the necessary conditions for flying. With this STEM activity I organized, I aimed to make my students research and question the basic concepts of aviation, make aviation-related designs and improve their scientific and engineering process skills. I benefit from AIRBUS Foundation Discovery Space Resources to achieve this goal. The activity starts by asking the students to question how the flying event took place and what kind of conditions are needed for the flying event to take place. After the discussion of these questions, “Why Birds are made for flying?“, “How do helicopters fly?” and “How do airplanes fly?” by watching the videos named, it is ensured that the necessary factors for the flying event are determined. At the end of the videos, the students are asked whether they pay attention to the design of aircraft wings and helicopter propellers, and the role of wings and propellers in flying is discussed. With the question of whether air pressure is effective in the design of blades and propellers, the students begin activities where they can discover and experience the working principle of blades and propellers.

In the first activity, an activity is performed to show that the pressure is decreasing where the air flow is located. In the activity, students are asked to fill the glass with water and put a straw in it. Then, the students are asked to blow air strongly to the tip of the straw in the water with another straw and to observe what happened.

Figure 1. Spraying water with a straw

In the second activity, students are asked to connect two balloons of equal size with a distance between them. Then, they are asked to make an observation by blowing air between the balloons.

Figure 2. Blowing air between balloons

In the third activity, students are asked to fold a piece of paper in a triangle and place it on the table. Then, a discussion environment is created on what will happen when the paper is blown under and the results are observed.

Figure 3. Blowing under the paper

With the first three activities, students who observe the change in pressure of the airflow, will test the lowering and rising of the wings they will design in the next activity. For this, wing models designed by students using cardboard are placed between two wooden bars fixed to cardboard or styrofoam by drilling. The fall and rise of the wings are observed by sending air over the models with a hair dryer. At this stage, students are asked to make different designs and discuss the results with their friends.

Figure 4. Wing design

In previous activities, students discover that the force generated by the air pressure, altered by the design of the blades and propellers, causes planes and helicopters to descend and rise. In the last activity, students who experience scientific processes in the design of blades and propellers are asked to design their own aircraft with TinkerCad.

Figure 5. Aircraft design with Tinkercad

By exploring the flying principles of aircraft and helicopters, and revealing career opportunities related to the aviation sector, the evaluation of the effectiveness is carried out with the mentimeter.

Figure 6. Mentimeter result

With the event, the interest and curiosity of the students in the aviation sector increased, and they discovered the scientific infrastructure of the principles required for the flying event, and they were able to design like an engineer.

Click here “How Things fly” learning scenarios