Tuesday, July 19, 2022

Teachers Air Camp: Day 2 (Summer 2022)



Day 2 - Tuesday, July 19, 2022

We had a late departure from the hotel this morning - not until 8:15 AM - though I ended up waking up at 5:30AM because the alarm clock in the hotel room was set.... This was extra tough because 5:30 here is 4:30 at home! I laid around for another hour before getting up, getting ready, and heading down for breakfast.

The breakfast at the hotel is decent, but nothing special. I ate some bacon and brought a banana and Fruit Loops up to my room. Its not a free breakfast, so I'm glad Air Camp pays for it, because otherwise I'd just go hungry. Totally not worth the price for how little I eat at hotel breakfasts!

We headed to the National Museum of the United States Air Force to spend the morning. Once there, we split into two groups - primary and secondary - for a Physics of Flight lesson. Our primary lesson was very hands on and included a lot of things I can implement in our Force and Motion unit!

To start, we were given a bunch of straws and two empty coke cans. To set up, you lay all but one straw down and set the two coke cans upright on top of them with a little space in between them. One person blows air between the two cans and you watch what happens. (Students should make a prediction beforehand!) When the air is blown, the cans will move TOWARDS each other. This is because of Bernoulli's Principle. There is faster air moving in between the cans, meaning there is also lower air pressure between them than there is on the outside of them where the air is moving slower.


We also played with the Bernoulli Bags, which I had done last summer (the summer before?) during the Steve Spangler training. The concept is the same. In order to blow the bag up in the least about of breaths, you have to stand back from the opening and blow.


A ping pong ball on a hair dryer also demonstrates this principle. We tried putting skittles on the end of a bent straw to demonstrate this as well. I did it pretty quickly, but it was a bit of a struggle for some! Another way to demonstrate is to put a ping pong ball in a funnel and blow really hard through the funnel while moving from a standing position, to a bent over position, and back again (this one is very hard!)


This relates to flight because it relates to the shape of the wings. The top is more rounded and the bottom is flatter, and the airflow has to meet on the backside of the wing, meaning the air has to move faster across the top. This is what creates the lift - the slower moving air on the bottom has higher air pressure which lifts the plane and combats gravity.

We watched a video on YouTube that showed a dance about pitch (the movement of the nose/tail of the plane up and down), roll (the movement of the plane's wings tilting side to side, like it was going to roll), and yaw (the movement of the tail/nose side to side, as if you're changing direction). The video was really cheesy and the concepts are probably above elementary, but it was amusing!

Additional Activities:

  • Choose two pairs of students (ideally one group older, one group younger. Or one group taller and one group shorter?) Give the younger/shorter pair a garbage bag - each student holding an end. Give the older/taller pair a garbage bag that has been cut open so that it creates a large rectangle. Have the students run a race and see which pair gets to the end first. Why? This demonstrates drag.

  • Have students create a paper airplane and fly it. Then, cut flaps on each wing. Have them bend the flaps up and fly it. Have them bend the flaps down and fly it. Have them bend one flap up and one flap down and fly it. What happens?

  • Talk about when your riding in the car and you put your hand out the window with your palm facing down. What happens? What about when you change the pitch of your hand?

  • Forces of Flight Game: Line students up in a field/gym. THRUST: run forward. DRAG: run backward. GRAVITY: fall down. LIFT: jump

After our Physics of Flight lesson, we had a little time to check out the gift shop before our private tour of the museum.  We only had an hour and a half, so my group toured the WWI and WWII hangars. Fun fact: the planes in WWI only went roughly 100 MPH give or take.






We had a 30 minute lunch break (sandwiches, chips, and cookies) and then had an hour to check out other parts of the museum. It is HUGE. You could easily spend half a day to a full day there and not see it all. Missy and I headed down to the space section real quick. I tried to land the space shuttle in a simulator, but was unsuccessful!



Our next destination was Huffman Prairie Flying Field, where the Wright brothers made many, many flights. It holds a replica of their shed, as well as the starting device that was originally used to launch the planes before advancing to the catapult.



We moved on up the road to a park for some Falconry with the Ohio School of Falconry. In order to become a falconer, you have to give up your 4th amendment right. Law enforcement doesn't need a warrant to come search your property, they just have to show up and say, "I'm here to see the birds." This is to help protect the wild life. The U.S. is one of only four or five countries in the world that can trap for falconry, and they must be juvenile birds. We related birds to what we learned this morning about airplanes! The larger the leading edge of the wings are, the greater the lift, the faster the take off.

We got to meet Henson, a 5.5 year old Eurasian Eagle Owl.


Quinny was a 3-year-old Barn Owl.  Barn Owls have very flat wings, and for that reason they are very silent.


Maverick is a 71-day-old Peregrine Falcon. He wore a hood for part of the time to help keep him calm. There was a lot of stimulus around for him.


Lastly, we met a Harris' Hawk named Irwin, named such because they got him on the anniversary of Steve Irwin's death. Irwin was the bird we got to practice our falconry with!



Team Building Activities (that have nothing to do with aviation, just some that I learned!)

  • Lego Maze: build a lego maze on a wooden board and attach bungee cord or paracords (longer = harder). Students can be given different types/sizes of balls (bouncy ball, golf ball, ping pong ball, etc) and have to work together to get it through the maze. Each student can only have one hand on a string. A variation is to have them all turn backwards except one who gives directions, or have them complete it silently. You could use different colored cords to help with communication.


  • Captain, Crew, Cargo: have a discussion about a ship. How many captains does a ship have? (one) Why? (Because if everyone was making up and giving directions, it would be a mess). How many crew members does a ship have? (many) Why? (It takes many people to follow the directions and complete the tasks) What is the cargo? (sometimes you just have to move things from point A to point B, you may not always have a role and that is okay!)
  • Hula Hoop Drop: Give a group of students a Hula Hoop. They have all hold it in the air, each using one finger. They must work together to bring the Hula Hoop to the ground, but everyone's finger MUST stay on the hoop. If someone removes their finger, you have to start over.

Bus selfie with Missy and the Wright Brothers!


Next, we took the bus through downtown Dayton before going to the Spaghetti Warehouse for dinner. We were given a salad and loaf of bread, and had the choice between lasagna, spaghetti and meatballs, fettucine alfredo, manicotti, and chicken caesar salad. I went with the spaghetti and meatballs. The spaghetti was okay, but the meatballs were delicious! Or maybe I was just really hungry....


We walked down to Sinclair Community College after for our flight workshops.  We split into our color groups again (elementary/middle/high school) and worked through three different stations.

Our first station was a flight simulator on the computer. It was kind of difficult at first, but then I got the hang of it! I figured out how to switch the airplanes and flew a Concord and a hot air balloon! During this time, we also got to go in the actual flight simulator. It was harder than I thought to turn the plane without going too far while also keeping it at the correct altitude. They said it was easier in the real plane than the simulator....guess we'll find out tomorrow!



The second station was about Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS). The man running it gave a presentation, then we played on a drone simulator. This was WAY harder the the plane one.

Lastly, we planned a flight from Greene County Airport to Fayette County Airport here in Ohio. There is a lot of steps! It seemed really complicated when trying to complete it all for the first time in an hour, but with practice I think it would be pretty easy!


We were all exhausted and happy to board the bus at 9:30 to go back to the hotel. Tomorrow is an early morning, but it is also FLIGHT DAY!

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