We have a lot of pool noodle sections leftover from making a pool noodle math game and a batting tee for the backyard. It was decided that we could use two of the longer pieces to do an engineering for kids project that involved building airplanes. In many ways it was a STEM ( Science, technology, engineering and math) experiment. Various styles of wings, tails, and nose cones were put out or created. Two types of fuselages were made available. The goal was to create a plane that could fly far.
Here is what was done to get ready for the engineering activity for kids:
There were two fuselages cut made of pool noodles. One pool noodle was left with straight areas in the front and back. One pool noodle it was decided needed to have a slant in the front and a straight back.
Slots were cut on both sides of the pool noodle so triangular shaped wings could be inserted. A small slit was cut in the top of the back section of the pool noodle so cardboard tails could be placed in them if it was decided they needed to be.
Two wings were cut out for the planes. One wing was made of cardboard from a cardboard box. One wing was cut out of meat tray. Extra meat trays were set out for additional wings to be created if these wings didn’t work as we hoped they would.
The front and back of any Easter egg were dug out of Easter storage (a plastic bag in the closet). They would be optional nose cones for the plane.
Pennies were put out to add more weight to the front of the plane inside the egg section.
Goal of the engineering for kids activity
The activity or engineering experiment was to discover what combination of fuselage, wings and additional items would allow the plane to fly the farthest.
Two plane ideas could be tested out at a time due to the fact that we had two sets of wings and fuselages.
We really thought that the plane body with the angled front would go the farthest. We tried flying it with the angel slanting down and slanting up. We tried flying it with both sections of eggs and with various numbers of pennies. A tail was added and later removed. This plane just didn’t fly very far. It tended to loop a little.
The plane with straight body went the farthest. When it had the cardboard wings inserted it went farther than it did with the meat tray wings. It really didn’t seem to matter what section of the plastic Easter egg was used. It flew almost the same distance with either one. Placing pennies in the nose cone really helped. My son found out that 4 pennies helped it to fly the best.
I am participating in a fun series this week with awesomely talented bloggers called Craft Closet Boredom Busters. Each day I will be sharing a fun activity you can do with your children along with links to the other bloggers ideas!
Here are some of their great activities:
Sparkly Felt Fish from Toddler Approved
Craft Stick Marble Run from Frugal Fun for Boys
Giant Pool Noodle Alphabet Beads from The Educator’s Spin on It