If you love airplanes, try out some of these paper creations. If you understand how the forces of aerodynamics work, you can make a plane that flies far. In The Kids’ Guide to Paper Airplanes the directions are really clear with color photographs to help you make the folds correctly. The planes start out easy and get harder and harder as you move through the book. The last plane requires 18 folds! The author even includes some tips for getting these planes to fly far.
What You Need:
Do you know why paper airplanes fly? They fly because of the forces that affect movement on earth. These forces are thrust, drag, lift and gravity.
Here are some websites that will help you understand aerodynamics and how to make good paper airplanes:
Science Rocks! Fly a Dart (page 52) and Fly a Glider (page 53)
Words to Know:
Lift- The force that is opposite the weight of an airplane and holds the airplane in the air. Drag – Air pushing back on the plane as it moves forward. Thrust – What makes the airplane move forward. This can be a propeller, a jet engine, or your throwing arm. Gravity – The force that pulls objects back to the earth. Aerodynamics – Aero means air and dynamics means motion. Aerodynamics is the study of motion through the air.
An insulatoris a substance that prevents the transfer of heator cold. Your winter hat is an insulator. It keeps the cold in the winter air from making your head cold. It blocks the transfer of cold from the air to you. It also blocks the transfer of heat from your head to the air.
Here is an experiment that will show you how different materials make better insulators than others.
What You Need:
3 Identical Coffee Mugs
4 Rubber Bands
Cotten Fabric (t-shirt – check the label)
Wrap the paper towel around the outside of one mug and secure it with a rubber band. Do the same with the other three mugs using alumninum foil, cotton and the wool sock.
Fill a pitcher with very hot tap water. Be careful! Take the temperature of the water and write the temperature down.
Fill each cup to the top with the hot tap water. Wait five minutes and take the temperature of the water in each cup. Make a chart to keep track of each cup’s temperature. Record each temperature after 5 minutes, 10 minutes and 15 minutes. What happens to the temperature of the water in each cup?
Here are some websites and books that will help you understand heat and insulators:
Words to Know: Insulator - A reduction of heat transfer between objects. Insulators keep cool things cool and warm things warm – like the thermos in your lunch box or the blubber on marine mammals. Heat - A high temperature. Temperature – The level of heat present in a substance or of an object or person. Temperature is measured on a thermometer and expressed in number of degrees. Temperature can also be determined by using the sense of touch. Human skin is sensitive to changes in temperature.
Animals on earth need a certain amount of heat to stay healthy and alive. How is it then, that animals like polar bars can survive in the arctic? How is it that whales can survive in the deep, freezing cold ocean? These animals have blubber, a layer of fat that acts as an insulator.
An insulator is a substance that prevents the transfer of heat or cold. The layer of blubber on a whale acts as a barrier to the cold of the ocean water. Because of its layer of blubber, the internal organs of the whale stay warm.
Your winter coat is an insulator. It keeps the cold in the winter air from making your body cold. It blocks the transfer of cold from the air to you. It also blocks the transfer of heat from your body to the air.
Here is an experiment that will show you how a simple insulator can make a big difference.
What You Need:
4 ziploc bags
Crisco Shortening or Vaseline
Fill a bowl with water and ice cubes. Put your hand inside one empty ziploc bag. Put that same hand with the bag on it inside a second ziploc bag. Now put your hand with the bags on it in the bowl of ice water. How long does it take for your hand to feel cold?
Ok, take your hand out of the bowl and take the bags off. Now fill one ziplic bag 1/2 full of Crisco or Vaseline. Put your hand inside one empty ziploc bag. Now put that same hand, with the bag on it, inside the bag full of Crisco or Vaseline. Squish the Crisco or Vaseline around so that it surrounds your hand. Now put your bag covered hand in the bowl of ice water. How long does it take for your hand to get cold?
The Crisco or Vaseline is an insulator, just like blubber. It stops the coldness of the ice water from transferring to your hand.
Words to Know: Insulator - A reduction of heat transfer between objects. Insulators keep cool things cool and warm things warm – like the thermos in your lunch box or the blubber on marine mammals. Heat - A high temperature. Blubber – A layer of fat that some animals have that helps keep the animals warm. Animals that have blubber include whales and sea lions, that live in the cold ocean and polar bears, that live in polar regions. Temperature – The level of heat present in a substance or of an object or person. Temperature is measured on a thermometer and expressed in number of degrees. Temperature can also be determined by using the sense of touch. Human skin is sensitive to changes in temperature.
Have an adult help you light a candle that can sit safely on a table. Blow up one balloon and tie it closed. Hold the balloon a couple inches from the candle flame. What happens? It pops, of course.
Now take the second balloon. Fill it with water. Don’t fill it with so much water it starts to expand. This is not going to be a water balloon. Now take the balloon with water in it and blow it up the rest of the way. Tie it closed. Hold this balloon a couple inches above the candle flame. Does it pop? How long does it take?
Balloons are made out of rubber. Rubber heats up really fast so the first balloon pops fast. Water molecules take a long time to heat up. The heat from the candle is soaked up by the water inside the second balloon so that balloon does not pop right away.
Science Experiment Idea: Try different temperatures of water in the balloon. If the water is warmer it seems like the balloon would pop faster. Test it out and see. Try ice water, room temperature water and hot tap water (NOT too hot to touch!). Make sure you use three balloons that are exactly the same. Measure the same amount of water into each balloon. Hold each balloon the same distance away from the candle flame. Remember that you only want ONE variable in an experiment. The variable is the one thing that changes, in this case the variable is the temperature of the water. Use a stopwatch to time how long it takes for the balloon to pop.
Here are some websites and books to help you understand and experiment with the fireproof balloon:
All day on Saturday, Nov. 23rd, everyone is invited to check out Central Library’s inaugural LEGO robotics tournament! This is your chance to meet 18 real-life central Indiana FIRST LEGO League and Jr. FIRST LEGO League robotics teams who will be showcasing their research, ideas, and solutions for extreme weather! The morning will highlight Jr. FLL teams presenting natural disaster preparedness and response projects, while the afternoon will feature this year’s exciting robot game challenges which face the FLL teams! Be sure to drop in, experience the fun, share the enthusiasm, and cheer the teams on! Event Details.
There are some things you can just never have enough of…M&Ms…and Legos! Here are some websites & books to keep ideas coming little brick by little brick.