Science. Collaboration. Empathy. Understanding. Problem-solving. Fun.
Posted on February 7, 2018 by Scot Allen
In preparation for Kite Day on Friday, Jan. 26, middle school students spent two weeks learning the different principles of flight prior to building kites with the Elementary school students, according to Middle School Science Teacher Nathan Javellana. Students explored the designs and structures that are critical to achieving flight.
This collaborative event allowed elementary and middle school buddies to combine science, creativity, school tradition and even a bit of aerobic activity into a single fun morning.
"We covered concepts such as lift, drag, velocity, stalls and attack angles as part of our exploration of flight," said Javellana.
In the lab activities students were presented with several design challenges, to design paper airplanes to fly through obstacles and mimic certain flight dynamics. For example, the first challenge was to create a paper airplane that could fly in a loop and then be caught again by students without moving their feet. By making small adjustments in design and using ailerons, student were able to make the planes loop and return to them.
Secondly, Javellana had the students design planes that were streamlined and able to fly straight through an obstacle course set up in the classroom. Finally, they studied the ground-effect principle and created planes that mimicked Soviet Spy planes (Ekranoplan) of the Cold War era that had the ability to evade radar and travel a great distance on a cushion of air.
"The best part of the experience was to watch our seventh-grade students take on the role of older siblings as they helped their little buddies build and decorate their kites for Kite day," Javellana said. "It was cute to see the elementary students remember the names of their buddies and run to greet them on the field on Kite Day. Overall, Kite Day is a wonderful Mid-Pacific Tradition."
"Kite Day represents a tradition that honors Mid-Pacific's history in bringing people together for a purpose, with community-building (part of our school DNA and culture) as the most important learning experience," said Elementary School Principal Edna Hussey. "What is the nature of building community? Collaboration. Empathy. Understanding. Problem-solving. Shared values and goals. And an invaluable side benefit: fun! This is why we make every effort to honor Kite Day as a tradition, we hope for years to come!"