Teacher’s Talk: Problems You Have Never Solved Before – Days 6-8

On Monday, VAMPY campers started the week off building parachutes.  Campers worked with a partner to test different features of a parachute (canopy size, length of suspension lines, and parachute material).  After testing was completed, campers  used collected data to determine the optimal design features of a parachute.  Using their knowledge, students created a final parachute with the slowest fall time.  These parachutes were tested again and the following day were dropped off the roof of the parking structure!

VAMPY campers created windmills using CDs, index cards, and popsicle sticks on Tuesday.  Students examined and discussed different types of windmills prior to this project.  Then, they were asked to test and modify their design.  Data was collected to see which windmill produced the most energy.  Next, campers worked on making paper airplanes.  They were able to create a variety of designs and then tested them to see which one would travel the farthest.

On Day 8 (Wednesday), campers tested their paper airplanes again outside and they discussed factors that may have influenced its performance.  Next, students built aluminum foil canoes.  Campers then tested their canoes, by determining the number of washers it would hold before sinking.  After the first test, students had the opportunity to create another canoe.  This was a precursor activity to the concrete canoe project campers will begin next week.  To finish out the day, students shaped the foam piece that will be used to create their concrete canoe and engaged in research regarding bridges.  Students will present their research to the class and it will also be used for their bridge building project that will take place on Thursday.