User:Vtaylor/NASA Summer of Innovation/Activities
30jul 1aug 6aug 8aug
- High-Power Paper Rocket - Linda 27jun - 16 kids
- High-Power Paper Rocket (day 2) - Linda 9jul
- Balloon Rocket - Linda 16jul
- Rocket Races - Linda 18jul
- Spaghetti tower - Linda / Valerie 23jul - simplified - 15 sticks of uncooked thin spaghetti and 30 mini-marshmallows
- Paper airplanes, - 25jul Linda / Valerie - Styrofoam plate glider video, pattern resources
- Sled Kite - Linda 30jul
- File card bridge / Penny bridge - Linda 1aug
- NASA LEGO Imagine Our Future Beyond Earth - NASA future mission - Moon habitat - design and build model with LEGO, describe / present - model / life size LEGO Star Wars X-Wing fighter - we don't have 5.3 million bricks..., introduce FIRST LEGO League, NXT controller - Linda 6aug
- Moon Habitat - 148 sheets of newspaper - use a paper with large pages and use the full square spread, stapler, masking or packaging tape - Linda 8aug
10. Moon Habitat continued...
Today we are actually hauling all our building supplies for our Moon Habitat out to the construction area, and assembling the building.
NASA Overview - Moon Habitat - 148 sheets of newspaper - use a paper with large pages and use the full square spread, stapler, masking or packaging tape
Kidblog - Moon habitat - pictures, description of designs, building newspaper "logs" - construction added to original post
- we made about 40 beams or logs from newspaper on Tuesday - varying sizes
- staplers - although heavy duty was recommended, we just had regular office staplers
- we cut the beams to a standard 30 inches
- we taped over the ends to provide reinforcement
- quality assurance - rechecked the lengths, made any over length beams shorter by folding over the end and re-taping
- we assembled 5 triangles by stapling the corners together
- directions suggested a heavy duty stapler
- just used ordinary office stapler - that is what we had
- difficult to staple, did the best we could and taped over the joins
- connected the 5 triangles at the bottom edge
- added another beam between the points of the triangles
- added 1 additional beam out from the end point
- formed a ring and connected the top and bottom edges
- made a 5-spoke structure that would become the roof
- added the roof
- we ran out of time, but some kids will work on the remaining airlock structure in another session
- really needed a heavy duty stapler
- several other ways that the instructions could have been interpreted
- trim the beams to length - discard any short ones and make new that were 30 inches
- staple, then tape - staple through less bulk, just newspaper, and tape over staples for strength
- taping before stapling ensured that the area was reinforced for stapling
- folding and adding more tape to ends to shorten beams resulted in extra bulk
- final structure was surprisingly strong
- had time permitted, we would have added "walls" - cover the exterior with panels of paper - newspaer, butcher paper or tissue paper
- could have decorated wall panels
9. Moon Habitat
As an introduction to the final activity - building the Moon Habitat, we talked about living in space and the problems that need to be addressed in designing and building a habitat for living on the moon.
NASA Overview - Moon Habitat - 148 sheets of newspaper - use a paper with large pages and use the full square spread, stapler, masking or packaging tape
Kidblog - Moon habitat - pictures, description of designs, building newspaper "logs"
- materials - markers, long piece of butcher paper - enough room for everyone to draw their habitat ideas
- newspapers, masking tape, pencils to use to start rolling "logs" or "beams"
- newspapers - collected from neighbor's recycling - depending on paper, we had 25-30 daily papers- can't use most of inserts
- we talked about NASA trips to the moon, and living in space and on the moon
- we reviewed the Engineering Design Process
- we talked about airlocks, as there is an airlock in the habitat design we are using - the basic design has around for 20+ years and some versions are just the main structure
- kids drew their ideas for a moon habitat and talked about their designs (change of plan - were going to build LEGO models but needed extra time to prepare the newspaper beams for next session - pretty time-consuming)
- encouraged "silly" ideas to get lots of ideas out for discussion
- newspaper beams - 4 full sheets of newspaper, rolled from one corner, diagonally to the other side and tape around center to hold
- too tight made it difficult to get the pencil out
- needed to be fairly tight for strength
- better to use 4 full sheets for each beam - we did use 2 half sheets side by side which works because of rolling across the diagonal - not recommended if it can be avoided
- 37 ready to go for next session on Thurs. where we will assemble the habitat
- lots of questions about space, atmosphere, gravity, International Space Station, rockets, NASA
- demonstrated the LEGO Mindstorm robot, NXT controllor, motors, sensors
- talked about robots, programs, autonomous activity
- FIRST LEGO League for Middle School
- NASA LEGO Imagine Our Future Beyond Earth - NASA future mission
- model / life size LEGO Star Wars X-Wing fighter - we don't have 5.3 million bricks...
What's next for NASA
NASA LEGO Imagine Our Future Beyond Earth
- LEGO Star Wars X-Wing fighter - we don't have 5.3 million bricks...
- NASA Current Missions - index, extensive list
- http://nasa.gov/about/whats_next.html What's Next For NASA?
- NASA Future Missions - many in early development
- NASA Launch schedule - ISS resupply, exploration, experiments
- find out about the missions NASA has planned through the 2030s
- Moon habitat - build a LEGO model out of your own imagination. Your LEGO creation does not need to be a scientifically correct model (though you are welcome to build that too)
- document the relationship between a future NASA mission and your model
8. File Card Bridge
The File Card Bridge, also known as Penny Bridge activity introduces kids to basic structures, the ideas of loading, capacity, structural failure, and stepwise improvements.
File card bridge / Penny bridge
Kidblog - pictures, description. kids comments
- in addition to the original activity using 4x6in file cards, we also added the floating variation - it is summer, and everyone likes water activities
- lots of pennies
- we didn't do a lot of introduction, just described the basic object - make a bridge to support as many pennies as possible, with just one file card, supported by books on each side with only 1/2in overlap of card on the books
- just the cards - most kids got 5-8 pennies on before the bridge collapsed
- kids started to fold the cards - widthwise held 5-8 pennies - no significant change
- kids folded them lengthwise - double thickness 12-15 pennines, single thickness with other half vertical 8-10 pennies
- more complex folds - better results
- flat with vertical edges
- 3 folds - v down - 50 pennies
- hollow tunnel with overlap on bottom - 70 pennies
- accordion folds - best 156 pennies
- reviewed engineering design process - try, improve and retest, learn from other's experience - big improvement for everyone
- kids got to keep the maximum number of pennies their bridge held
Wet and wild
- large shallow bowl filled with water
- 3x5 cards "boats"
- flat cards held 5-6 pennies
- not much experimentation so not much improvement, not very careful about balance, load distribution
- Ms. Linda's boat - small edges turned up on all sides, special care to ensure that corners were snug and would stay up, careful loading to keep load balanced, centered and well distributed
- Coin bridge - the coins are the building material
- Engineering bridges - many designs and basic structures for bridges
7. Sled Kite
For this session, we picked the Sled kite activity to continue in the aerodynamics theme of previous activities. In previous summers, the kite had been made with plastic bags. We used paper to simplify the activity. Everyone made their own.
Sled Kite - lesson plan, template, instructions, observations worksheet
Kidblog - Sled Kites - pictures or materials, kites, test runs
- we cut the straws to the correct length. The template is less than a full sheet of 8 1/2 x 11 so the straws would have extended beyond the edge of the kite.
- we pre-made the 2-part string arrangement using a paperclip as the pivot in the bridle.
- We talked about airfoils, kites, parachutes, hang-gliders
- we talked about NASA parawing research, space capsule reentry and retrieval
- kids prepared their kites - they decorated their kites, and cut them out. They attached the straws, reinforced the string attachment points and attached the strings
- We took the kites out to the park across the street.
- we made several trial runs - walking, jogging, running
- we checked the wind speed and direction
- we recorded our observations
- we attached tails to the kites, and retested the kites, noting any differences
- we shortened the kite tails, retested and observed.
- we made our final recordings, and discussed out findings.
- the paper clips contributed to the over all weight of the kite. Making the bridle from one 1m string with at loop in the middle would have worked as well and eliminated the weight of the paper clip. The long string "handle" could have been tied to the loop in the bridle to provide some movement without allowing the kite to become unbalanced.
- there wasn't much wind, but running into the wind was noticeably better than running away from it.
- the tail didn't make much difference
6. Paper planes, foam plate gliders
Today was model airplanes day. We were prepared to do as many as 3 different kinds, but we just did the one paper plane model. The kids really enjoyed being outdoors testing their models. We could make enough changes to the basic Dart model to have some significant performance differences.
Paper airplanes, Styrofoam plate glider - video, pattern resources
- paper plane of the day calendar sheets - variety of designs to make small paper planes
- printed Classic Dart with folding lines, instructions - just folding, cutting elevators optional
- foam plate glider - more difficult - tracing pattern, cutting, assembling, good performance
- talk about basics of flight - lift, gravity, thrust, drag
- review the engineering design process - posters on display on wall in big activity room
- walk through the steps for making the Classic Dart - preprinted pages, fold lines
- talk about shape, aerodynamics, angle of wings, winglets
- introduction to story of Sally Ride (1951-2012) - US woman astronaut, youngest American in space
- fly the planes - light toss, both directions across the yard, as there was a slight breeze that affected flight
- make the slits for the elevators at trailing edge of the main wing
- test fly - both elevators up
- test fly - both elevators down - not much difference
- test fly - one up, one down - some great barrel rolls - although we have done this activity with other groups in the past, this was the first time that the planes performed beautiful barrel rolls - really big elevator trim tabs worked well
- test fly - switch up and down
- compare flight characteristics, results and discuss what was happening
- made second airplane - plain sheet of paper, own design, decorated
- some kids made tiny planes from "airplane of the day" calendar pages - printed pages with instructions 4"x4" - great printed surface, too small for kids to make accurately - cute though
- predict flight characteristics, compare with first Dart design
- test fly own designs - some better than Dart design, some not
- compare performance - longer, slimmer designs "better" - went further, small planes not as good
- demonstrated foam glider, kids happy with paper planes
- Video: Forces on an Airplane (8:32)
- Design your own airplane - learn more about flight and aerodynamics
- Junior Flyer How and Why - good selection of links to websites, videos about aircraft and flying
- History of Flight
5. Spaghetti tower
Building with Pasta - Use the engineering design process to build a structure to handle the greatest load. Gain first-hand experience with compression and tension forces. Spaghetti Anyone? .pdf
Kids blog Spaghetti tower - pictures, description
- variation on the NASA lesson - just 20 pieces of spaghetti and 30 mini marshmallows
- assembled materials in individual bags
- extra spaghetti and marshmallows available
- discussed the engineering design process
- discuss ideas, options - triangles are strongest
- go over rules - just what is in setup bag, has to be free standing, can't be attached to table top
- may replace several small pieces with 1 full length piece of spaghetti - keep the same total amount, not additional
- tallest structure - mast / antenna doesn't count in height
- each group got 1 spaghetti and 4 marshmallows - make a square, check stability, change it to make it more stable - scoot marshmallows along spaghetti pieces - more rigid, discussed triangles - more stable for same length
- paper, pencils - discuss, draw plan - straight lines for spaghetti, circles for marshmallows, figure out how many spaghetti, marshmallows - remember 3-d, not just 2-d like plan
- load-bearing - 5 marshmallows with short spaghetti - square with marshmallow in center
- groups of 2-3 get a setup in a bag
- 18 minutes to build tallest structure
- some stood - 13-15 cm, tallest 21cm
- some reinforcing - using 2 spaghetti together
- some pyramids - stable base, height
- some tall, woobly - full length spaghetti, too many sides but tipped over into a stable structure
- times up
- look at all structures, compare, what works
- try again - just 5 minutes, use techniques that worked for others, incorporate improvements
- sturdier structures, include triangles
- many variations on this activity - gumdrops, tape,
4. Rocket Races
Rocket Races - Students construct balloon-powered racing cars using a foam tray and drinking straws. They then test the cars along a measured track on the floor. At the conclusion of the activity, students submit a detailed report on their racer design and how it performed in the trials.
Kidblog - Rocket Races ** lots of photos of materials, kids working on the racers, test runs
- collected foam trays from kids lunches - good size to use whole, easy to cut
- pre-made wheels - cut the bottoms off styrofoam cups - ensures that wheels are the same size and round. In the past, kids cut wheels from cardboard with lots of problems
- bamboo skewers for axles, points for poking holes in wheels
- we had a demo model with cardboard wheels
- straws for axle sleeve, bamboo skewer for axle - about the same length. Trimming was helpful. Most kids just went with what was handed out without considering how length would affect performance.
- wheels are the biggest problem, even with the styrofoam "pre-made" ones - kids have problems making a hole for the axle. Needs to be centered and small.
- lots of masking tape to try to correct wheels. Instructions show tape over the end of the axle that just extends beyond the straw sleeve and sticks to the wheel face. For longer axle, wrap tape around the axle so it won't slide through the whole. Putting tape over a big hole and then making a new smaller hole through the tape helped.
- wheels were key to extending distance travelled. Most had some issue with wheels. Very few tracked straight.
- racers either went a long way 500-1000cm or very short distance 20-50cm
- very few went straight. Most curved significantly
- "fixes" to wheels - making holes smaller with tape reinforcement, centering hole with tape and new whole or replacing bad wheels
- cardboard wheels in first run were replaced with foam wheels for second run
- most wheels were wobbly because the straw sleeve and skewer axle were too long for the body width and did not support the wheels or direct the force from the ballon rocket
- suggested but did not try making a "compound" wheel with 2 cup-bottom glued together to make a stronger wheel
- need to trim straw sleeve and skewer axle to size for the body.
- kids enjoyed it
3. Balloon Rocket
NASA Heavy Lifting Air Engines Students use balloons to demonstrate concepts applied by jet and rocket engines to supply thrust for movement. Keywords: jets, airplanes, balloons, aeronautics, thrust, rockets, vectoring, Newton's Laws of Motion
Air Engine .pdf The students will use an inflated balloon to exert the forces to propel it down a fishing line test track. Long narrow balloons (not the type used for "balloon animals") are preferred. Keywords: airplanes, balloons, aeronautics, vectoring, Newton's Laws of Motion
Balloon Rockets blog post, pictures, kids comments
- Balloons - the local party store did not sell the "long balloons" that would have been best for this activity. We had lots of round balloons in various sizes. We had some "sqwiggly" balloons that were long but too big and popped before they were completely inflated.
- We set up enough lines so everyone could launch at once.
- Straws were fast food straws - larger diameter than grocery store package straws - makes it easier to thread the fishing line.
- We cut a few straws in half, so some were full length, some were shorter.
- We described the activity and talked about how the air escaping from the balloon would power the balloon along the line. We talked about how the straw was there to guide the balloon rocket along the line.
- Kids selected balloons by color. They blew them up, used markers to write their names and decorate their balloons.
- Kids could choose a long straw or a short (1/2) straw.
- Even though were reminded them about the objective and thrust, most kids taped their guide straw across the ballon. (Interesting - and makes this a better learning experience in the end.)
- We got all the balloons threaded onto the lines.
- Count down, release.
- Most of the balloons with the straws across the ballon just went around the line, not down the line. Big aha moment!
- Two kids had the guide straws inline with the direction of thrust (escaping air). These travelled the full length of the lines.
- We talked about the differences between the successful balloon rockets and the others.
- For test 2, the kids reworked their balloon rockets. This time all the guide straws were lined up with the neck of the ballon inline with the thrust.
- Test 2 - much better. All balloons moved down the lines. Some went further than others depending on size of balloon and inflation.
- Test 3 - we had a couple of long balloons. We did a final test with 2 round balloon and 2 long balloons. The long balloons were much better. The long balloon with a short guide straw taped toward the back worked best.
- Facilitators posted to blog, added pictures, and kids commented on the experience.
- This is a summer program so we spend more time doing than teaching.
- Pictures - could be better - iPhone pictures not very good indoors, more detail pictures at each stage
- Work on getting kids to explain what happened with successes and failures
- Using round balloons worked out really well. Without the balloon shape as a clue, the kids did what they thought would work.
- We did not model the activity. The kids did not see what the final product would be. They had to work this out on their own. Usually their teacher will show what they are to make, and they are not really understanding the problem or steps that went into designing this solution.
- When the guide straw was oriented along the line of thrust, the round balloons worked well. There was a lot more learned from this experience, than if we had the recommended long balloons.
- We are having kids post comments is part of another summer literacy program. Nice to be able to connect the activities and encourage the kids to write about it. Balloon Rockets blog post, pictures, kids comments
- Good activity.
1. & 2. High-Power Paper Rocket
High-Power Paper Rocket, Launcher
This is a great educator-lead group activity. It is more complex than some of the other rocket activities that kids can do on their own or with a little help.
- Duration : 2 x 2 hours with 16 kids going into Gr 5-9 (Last year, with younger kids included took much longer)
- Launcher - constructed from PVC pipe. Look over the instructions as there are materials and assembly required before the activity with the kids. We were fortunate. This activity was used in a previous Summer of Innovation, so the Launcher was already to go. It wasn't hard to build. Just be aware that there is some preparation required.
- Our Launcher was built to propel the rockets off at about a 45 degree angle. Good idea if space permits. No one was hit by a flying rocket. The really good rockets flew 2-3 times further than most of the others. Average - about 20-30 feet, best rockets 100+ ft.
- The piece of the launcher that the rockets were placed on to launch was removable, so it could be used as a guide for making the rocket bodies.
- Light cardstock. lots of clear tape - one dispenser between 3-4 kids.
- 2L soda pop bottles - the necks on bottles from some of the big low-price chains are NOT the same size as the "national" brands. Make sure your bottles will work with the Launcher.
- The kids can stomp pretty hard so have extra bottles available. We used 6 bottles for about 30 launches.
- Warm-up - altitude, altimeters, rockets, thrust, design process, measurement, prediction
- Overview - High-Power Paper Rocket materials, rocket construction, data log sheets
- Main body - sheet of card stock wrapped around a piece of the PVC pipe the same size as the launcher. Needs to be snug but not tight so it will slide easily along the pipe. Whole sheet of cardstock. Either 8.5 long or 11 long ok. Use the whole sheet for stability. Tape into a cylinder.
- Nose cone - This was the hardest part. Make a semi circle - trace around a plastic cup. Curve the piece so the point is in the middle of the flat side, tape into a cone. Put the cone over one end of the rocket body. Then the really tricky part - crumple the widest part of the cone over the rocket body so that it is snug against the outside of the rocket body and tape into place - this is a 2-person job. Get it close and tape, then make adjustments - straighten, reshape, etc. and tape again. This worked pretty well, but is the weakest part of this activity design. This was hard for the middle school kids to understand what to do, as well as having to struggle with actually attaching pieces that didn't really fit.
- Fins - There is a recording activity as well as the design and build. What worked - kids draw their fin design on the cardstock, and cut it out. Trace the fin pattern onto the grid for the fin area calculation - now they can count the centimeter squared for area and record it on their data sheet. Then, trace the fin on the cardstock for the rest of their fins. Designs varied with 2-4 fins.
- Record base information, predict - Fill in data sheet with pre-flight test information. Engineering notebook, recording experiment data
- Test flight #1, observe, record actual - The flight distances varied considerably. Look at other rockets - same, different, performance
- Think about this - Encouraging writing with comments on High-Power Paper Rocket activity blog post.
- Next session - We ran out of time, so we didn't have the altimeter devices ready for this flight test. That will be included next time. Other activities - evaluate results of first flight, determine features of most successful rockets, make adjustments, launch and record flight test #2, re-evaluate.
- Ultimate straw rocket - video instructions, [http:www.flashnet.dk/files/fin.doc fin pattern]
- NASA straw rocket
- Rockets - information, other activities
- NSB Boys & Girls Club blog - High-Power Paper Rocket activity
Other NASA activities - reviewed
- Engineering - Grade 7-9 - Aeronautics, Challenges, Design Process, Exploration, Robotics, Rocketry
- Physical Science - Grades 4-6
- Life Science - Grades 4-6
- Whirlybird story - Chinese, English, Spanish
videos - download .zip
- NASA videos - gr 6-9 - electric cars, solar energy, ... - .zip - need to download to play ? available streaming
- The Beginner's Guide to Aeronautics - 12 topics - simulations, guides, lessons - Keywords: Newton's Laws of Motion, forces of flight, lift, drag, thrust, engineering design process, kites - some too advanced
- Getting Off the Ground into the "Smart Skies"! - ATC simulation
- NASA Simulations, .pdf - use NASA web-based simulators to follow sequenced directions and complete ordered tasks while learning how the shuttle is made ready for flight, how the shuttle docks with the International Space Station, how the shuttle lands, and how NASA retrieves the solid rocket boosters. - Keywords: simulations, computer simulations, computer-based
- Getting the Drop on Flight With the "X" Planes - Ring Wing Glider - really interesting
- Learning the "Wright" Way To Fly! - 3 Wright kites, sled kite
- On Target Challenge - paper cup, paper clip hook, marble, zip line, target release
- Spacecraft Structures - soda bottle launch, sandbag force ? setup with retort stands, structures between bottle and level ?? recording, testing, multiple sessions, 6-9gr
- Touchdown Challenge Students design and build a shock-absorbing system that will protect two "astronauts" when they land.
- Build a Solar Oven solar box cooker, make S'mores.
- Lunar Plant Growth Chamber - Plants in space -**Hydroponic Systems Activity** (Grades 9-12) one or more hydroponic systems and collect data for a four-week period to determine which system resulted in the best plant growth. - complex lots of interconnected lessons, activities - electricity > lighting
- Make a Balloon-Powered Nanorover - Use cardboard and a balloon to power a rover across the floor.
- Mars Pathfinder Egg Drop Challenge Design, build and drop your "Pathfinder" from a high place and see if your payload (egg) survives.
- Spaghetti Anyone? Building With Pasta Engineering design process to build a structure to handle the greatest load. Gain first-hand experience with compression and tension forces.
- Heavy lifter lesson, resources - Design and build a crane out of cardboard. Determine methods to reinforce the crane’s arms so it doesn’t collapse under a heavy load. Build a crank handle - Keywords: engineering, design process, rovers, entry, descent, landing
- Crew Exploration Vehicle Students design and build a crew exploration vehicle, or CEV, that will carry two cm-sized passengers safely and will fit within a certain volume (size limitation). - //**Keywords:** engineering, design process, rovers, entry, descent, landing//
- Landing a Rover Teams' challenge is to design and build a model of a lunar transport rover that will carry equipment and people on the surface of the moon. - //**Keywords:** exploration, engineering, design process, rovers, planet surface, energy, force, momentum//
- Moon Rovers
-  - design and build a rubber band-powered rover that can scramble across the room. - Keywords: exploration, engineering, design process, rovers, energy, force, momentum
Reviewed - not suitable, too...
- heat - needs propane torch.
- Project X-51 -- Water Rocket Construction - Students form "rocket companies" and compete in a commercial endeavor to construct a rocket capable of lifting payloads into Earth orbit. ** requires rocket launcher
- Student Glovebox -- Droplet Investigation of Liquids - Inquiry-based technology lesson to construct a sealed container with built-in gloves and to explore the properties of liquids. ** complex, lots of equipment, materials
- Comets ..on a stick
- X-1 glider .pdf
- Solar ovens and S'mores - need lots of boxes, sunny day to get enough heat to cook, long wait
also - see r66, use LEGO as primary building material, kidblog "presentations"
- Future Flight included K-4 activities - videos, hands-on activities
- NASA videos
- eGFI activities - gr 6-8 - good activities from a variety of sources, some instructions for kids