We don’t have an activity where you can actually fly (yet) but we do have a number of Science@Home activities and experiments that should satisfy any junior scientist’s need to explore all things flight. If you’re interested in aeronautics, engineering and physics, this list of top activities and experiments involving flight is one you’re going to want to complete.
1. Flying rings
This experiment comes in three different levels and looks at the forces of aerodynamic (thrust, lift, gravity and drag) and explains how they impact flying craft. You’ll make your own peculiar flying creation (spoiler alert – it’s in the shape of a ring!) and carry out a series of test flights.
2. Mini catapults
What kid doesn’t love flinging stuff around the place? This experiment (again with three different levels for different ages) shows you how to build a simple machine (a lever) to defy gravity and hurl stuff in the air. It seems like an experiment where kids get to create their own little battlegrounds, but shhh…it’s actually covering some pretty important physics, forces and engineering concepts.
This is a great experiment for those who like to get up high. Not too high though – the upstairs area of a house or second floor at school will do just nicely. In this experiment (three levels are available to suit all ages), we look at the concept of wind resistance (or drag) to see how it stops a falling object from just plummeting to the ground (we snuck a little lesson on gravity in there too). This experiment is anything but a “drag”…
Now we’re talking! Rockets!! This really is rocket science without leaving the planet. We’re also introducing a bit of chemistry here by using a simple chemical reaction to launch our home-made rockets up, up and away! The recommendation for safety goggles suggests an element of danger which is bound to impress your junior scientist (don’t worry the danger element is actually pretty low). With three levels, this experiment caters for all abilities.
5. Paper Copter
Last, but by no means least, our Paper Copter Science@Home activity shows you how to make and test your very own “helicopter” made out of paper! Like all our Science@Home activities, this is designed to be shorter than the experiments, and therefore easy to fit into a short block of time during the school week or at home on the weekend or during the holidays.
Science is everywhere, so for those who wish to explore aviation, aerodynamics, physics, engineering or anything else to do with flight you’re in luck! Here’s some ideas to fuel your junior scientist’s interest:
- The NASA website. A treasure trove of information about all things space.
- Science museums – most capital cities in Australia have one, or at least have a science section in their regular museum.
- Planetariums, or even just having a look in a regular telescope (don’t look directly at the sun though!).
- Aviation museums – or anywhere where you can have a really good look at planes and helicopters.
- Airports – or airforce bases, which often have open days for the public.
- Explore the world of drones – a great Christmas gift idea to kick-start their flying career.
You can complete any of these experiments or Science@Home activities at home or in the classroom by signing up for a subscription of Experimentary.