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Flight and Motion

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Flight and Motion

Marta Sybrant

C.P. Squires‚ 1312 East Tonopah Avenue
North Las Vegas, NV 89030



Activity Description

Third-‚ fourth-‚ and fifth-grade students explore flight and motion through a series of hands-on experiments. Each day‚ students are presented with a problem to solve and the materials they will use. The students write predictions of how they think they will solve the problem. Students work in small groups to solve the problem. Students write about what they did and the results. The session ends with a whole group discussion of experiment and results. Sample experiments include: gravity with balls and ramps; wind direction with bubbles and compasses; paper helicopters‚ whirligigs‚ and discs; paper airplanes with distance measurement; film canister rockets with vinegar and baking soda; balloon rockets; balloon rocket cars; and paper rockets with launcher.

Number of Students Involved in This Activity: 25

Range of Student Ages: Eight to eleven years old

Duration of Activity: Six weeks

Relevant Contextual or Demographic Information: 91 percent free or reduced lunch‚ 86 percent Hispanic‚ and 63 percent English language learners

Academic ContentWhat is the academic content of this activity? Math Science
Literacy is emphasized through writing predictions and results‚ as well as general discussion. Mathematics is certainly involved‚ as the students make use of protractors‚ compasses‚ rulers‚ geometrical design‚ measurement‚ graphing‚ problem-solving‚ and discourse to solve the problems. Scientific principles are incoporated through inquiry‚ the problem solving process‚ ideas and inventions‚ experiments‚ Bernoulli's principle‚ chemical reactions‚ cooperative groups‚ and discussion.

Strong RelationshipsHow does this activity create strong relationships?
Students work in cooperative‚ multi age groups to solve problems‚ and this builds cooperation amongst students in the different grades.

Decision MakingWhat opportunities are there for authentic decision making?
Students solve problems by deciding what to use‚ what to build‚ and how to build it. Many experiments are completed through trial and error where the students' first attempts are used to develop new ideas on how to improve the design to make it go farther‚ faster‚ longer.

Student LeadershipWhat student leadership opportunities are there?
Students have the opportunity to present and share ideas within their group‚ which encourages student leadership.


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