Wednesday 9 October 2013

Science group: flying and air pressure

So Monday was the first science group since the summer break.  I had to change the way it was running a bit but it all worked out well and was a success.  The children enjoyed the different experiments I had planned.  I promised to compile a post on here together so they could try it against home and have more time to learn it all again on a one on one basis - one of the many pros to Home education - so here it is...

First we looked at gravity, then after seeing that although being light has it's advantages when flying, it's not all about that as you can discover yourself if you try out the gravity test...

Then, if you are doing this project you might like to read my post: How do birds fly? 
Once we done that we looked at different feathers and tried to sort them into feather types, we also looked into the different properties they have that help a bird in other ways: to keep warm and protect themselves from the weather.  The children loved this and could have spent hours with their microscopes and magnifying glasses!

We looked at the shape of the feather which led us to make a wing or an aerofoil shape.  The children loved having fun with that. An aerofoil is really fun and easy to make, we've made a few over the last few years...

Then had fun with ping pong balls too to learn more about air pressure and how birds use thermal air currents to get lift.

We looked at Bernoulli's principle again with the kissing balloons experiment you can find on here...

This brought us on to the subject of hot air rising and how some birds use thermal air currents to rise into the air before choosing the direction they want to go in.  We learnt that hot air rises and this moves this air upwards lifting aerofoil shapes - we also looked at how aeroplanes use this principle in their turbines to provide the thrust they need to stay in the air.

All this before making a propeller toy.  We were going to have a go at kite making, kites fly using similar principles, but we ran out of time.

Such a lovely and very busy time.  I am very much looking forward to next months science group now!

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