Move over, Wright Brothers! The next generation of flight engineers are right here…
During Term 1, our Year 11 Design and Technology students have been designing and constructing planes—primarily from balsa wood—in order to create circular flight around the Power Anchor system. The Power Anchor system supplies power to the motor via some wires and provides the thrust for the planes to fly, when the students achieve the correct ratios of wingspan, balance and wing angles etc. There are a number of variables to be considered, while all students were supplied with a specific, fixed quantity of construction materials.
The students have faced many design challenges throughout the project and made a number of design changes in response to the test flights made. Not only were they able to observe and record their own flights but each student had the opportunity to observe and learn from every flight carried out in the Wood Technology room.
All students achieved flight with their designs, while maintaining a growth mindset, overcoming specific difficulties and responding to immediate and specific feedback. This exercise has provided a strong foundation on which to build, in relation to the design process and specific documentation skills. Thankfully, all accidents were of a ‘minor’ classification and no loss of life was encountered – despite the fact that a propeller came off during one of the flights!
Flight was not the only criteria for success. The aesthetics of the plane were also considered and individual styles and preferences were applied and celebrated.
We are all looking forward to the next design challenge where students will be designing and manufacturing a Light Emitting Diode (LED) light for a specific use, using 12 volt strip lighting.
The future is looking bright in the hands of our Design and Technology students!