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Day 1 of RC build club at school

Old 09-21-2011, 03:22 AM
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earthsciteach
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Thumbs up Day 1 of RC build club at school

After a long time of planning, we (some of my students, another teacher, and I) had our first RC airplane scratch-build club meeting today. It was awesome! We started out with a list of terms that kids will have to know in order to understand flight and aircraft design.

Next, the kids made gliders from foam plates based on a design that Joe (Road King 97) suggested. I was amazed at how well these flew! The simple design was perfect, because I could talk about the relationship of center of lift and center of gravity, and then have the kids make adjustments and see how that affected the gliders. The art teacher, who is the other teacher working with me on this, flew his helicopter in the gym while the kids were exploring CG, CL and control surfaces. Of course, it didn't take long until the kids were trying to fly their gliders into the helicoper! They were having a BLAST! It really is fun to see a foam plate glider sliced and diced by an rc copter! Carnage is always a great way to engage middle school students!

Then, I took them back to the classroom, did some more explaining about the relationship between center of lift and center of gravity, horizontal stabilizers, and canards. Followed that up with an introduction to the electronics that go into an RC airplane, then took them outside. Grandi (Art teacher) and I flew a couple of our planes as a demo for the kids. They LOVED it! We were pretty ridiculous in what we were doing. Grandi was flying his Sky Surfer inches above the ground. I was doing vertical climbs until my trash picked Wild Hawk was almost a speck in the sky, then we tried to fly formation together. The kids ate it up!

Next week begins the first flight lessons. I am going to take my Wild Hawk up, chop throttle, and let the kids glide it down to about 100 feet off the ground, then repeat. By the end of the year, the goal is for each student to have their own scratch-built RC planes flying.

On top of all of that, when I got home, a neighborhood kid was in my house with a brand new 50mm F/A-18 that he wanted me to help him set up. Dang, that is a cute little ducted fan jet! I know its way over his head (he currently flies a HZ mini-Cub), but maybe we can get him flying the Hornet. Either way, I have plenty of packaging tape and Gorilla Glue! LOL!
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Old 09-21-2011, 04:16 AM
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mclarkson
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Sounds like a great time. Congratulations!
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Old 09-21-2011, 05:18 AM
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Nieuport Fly Guy
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Wish I lived closer...
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Old 09-21-2011, 10:54 AM
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Don Sims
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Middle schoolers do love carnage. Keep us updated on the kids progress!
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Old 09-21-2011, 02:00 PM
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NJSwede
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I couldn't think of a more perfect way to get kids interested in science. Great job! Next time bring a camera and post some pictures!
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Old 09-21-2011, 08:55 PM
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Rockin Robbins
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Man, you've got that Wild Hawk earning a living! I think teaching hobbies is one area where schools are letting our kids down. Not everyone can be a football star or play in the band. But they can learn to build and fly an RC plane and get a lot of the same benefits.

It's a great thing you're doing! When you've got 'em by the imagination their hearts and minds will follow!
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Old 09-21-2011, 11:25 PM
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earthsciteach
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Thanks for the kind words, guys. I do really enjoy working with the kids and seeing their enthusiasm. I can sneak in a lot of good science and math lessons without them ever realizing it. Really, stuff learned in a classroom setting doesn't have a whole lot of meaning because it is knowledge disconnected from a tangible purpose.

I plan on using fan fold foam (cheap) as construction material. My vision is for the kids to use foam to create a built up plane from a plan or of their own design. But, its probably a good idea to have them build a 3d type plane first. They are impatient creatures and prob would not be happy with building something over a period of months.

I can definitely post pics of their work, but putting students' pics up on the internet is kind of touchy.

As for the kid with the mini F/A-18.... I asked him if he wanted me to maiden it for him, but he said he wanted to. You can prob guess where that ended up. My advice was for him to simply fly level for a short distance then kill throttle and belly land. WELL... He got it nice and level, but then pulled up, rolled inverted and penciled in, straight down, from about 50 ft at full throttle. crunch.

He said his dad bought it for him because the Banana Hobby website said it was "perfect for a beginner to expert." Nice, huh? It also says, "may be easier to fly than a propeller airplane," and "extremely stable." Interesting claim, as other claims in the list state, "highly aerobatic, and "flies at 70+ mph." I'm surprised they don't claim that it can also do your homework, lawn work, and walk your dog, too. Why a need for such misleading advertising?
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Old 09-21-2011, 11:32 PM
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NJSwede
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Banana Hobby is infamous for that! For a while *ALL* their planes were listed as "Fully 3D capable! Perfect for beginners!". That's never true, of course, but even less true with a cheapo radio without dual rates...

Oh well, time to step down from the soap box and hand the thread back to you...
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Old 09-22-2011, 12:33 AM
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CHELLIE
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Oh My God, Do You Know what you have done you have got those kids thinking, and your going to turn them into Engineers Your going to give them, THE KNACK, Good for you

[media]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CmYDgncMhXw[/media]
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Old 09-22-2011, 12:58 AM
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earthsciteach
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HA HA HA HA HA HA!!!!!! Chellie, that is great! As someone with a degree in mechanical engineering, I'd never want to wish "The Knack" on anyone! LOL
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Old 09-28-2011, 07:01 AM
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Originally Posted by CHELLIE View Post
Oh My God, Do You Know what you have done you have got those kids thinking, and your going to turn them into Engineers Your going to give them, THE KNACK, Good for you

[media]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CmYDgncMhXw[/media]
Now that was funny dont care what anyone says thats funny
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