Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Solar Bi-plane

My 6th graders have to learn about different types of energy, and are fascinated by solar energy.  Conveniently, the awesome Hobby Lobby coupon I had awhile back was used to buy a solar bi-plane to paint, construct, and fly using solar energy at a large discount.  I only have 8 6th graders and 7 of them are boys, so both model vehicles and flying airplanes are right up their alley. 

We reviewed solar energy and talked about solar panels.  I pulled out the plane, and they were absolutely thrilled. 

Here's the journey.  Sidenote- they ended up deciding to paint after they finished construction so the pieces would fit together better and then ultimately decided not to paint it because they deduced that they'd be able to spend more time flying it outside if they didn't have to wait for it to dry.

The kit

separating pieces

Construction phase

Adding on the solar panel and motor
The solar panel

Everybody's trying to figure out how to open the impossible paint.

Almost all put together
Missing the wings
Call in the teacher for fine-tuned adjustments

My conclusions: This was a great review.  We all loved it.  This is great for small classes or for enrichment/ homeschooling in a non-public school setting.  If it weren't so expensive, it could be a good small group project as well...maybe throw in some competition for highest flying, longest flying, best trick, etc.  It's actually a little similar to a glider construction kit I was trained in last fall, but those are launched and powered only by rubberbands and are much less standards related.

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