Spring SAVY 2019, Day 4 – Wind and Wings: Beginner Biophysics (1st/2nd)
Time is going by so fast! It’s hard to believe there are only 2 more sessions left! We started our work this past weekend by studying insects in flight. We learned that insect flight is quite different from bird flight and less understood. Scientists are learning more with better technology, and some information is even classified as the military tries to develop more flying technologies. We talked about how it’s hard to swat a fly, and one student mentioned that it is like the flies can predict the future. As students researched, they found so much information about insect eyes and how those eyes helped an insect understand its environment. We related this information back to that comment about predicting the future because the insect understands its environment differently and can move and dodge based on more visual information. That was a great example of how a question or wondering can shape our research and push us in a little different direction than I had planned!
At the end of class, the students tried out more paper airplanes. This time I challenged them to apply something that they had learned about bird flight or insect flight to the design of their paper airplane. Students cut holes in the airplane to make it lighter. They cut slits to mimic feathers. They folded the wings a bit differently. Some tried to find the most aerodynamic shape. It was quite busy and exciting as students launched paper airplanes all over the classroom, but we were able to talk and listen to students ideas about why they were trying a particular feature and what they hoped it would accomplish.
Next week, we will build some more wings to share with you at open house!
Working on our Airplanes