Thursday, January 24, 2013

Vocabulary Building

     Learning how to build a three piece airplane is a good way to increase students' vocabulary.  They say and learn the importance of airplane flight using words like elevator, vertical stabilizer, and dihedral.
     After that, they learn how to put the airplane together.  It's important to cut and glue the parts carefully and to add the proper amount of weight to the nose for a successful flight.
     I know the workshop has been a success when I hear kids yell out, "Raise the elevators. It'll give your airplane more lift!"

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Time Well Spent

     After school programs should be fun, motivating, and creative.  That's why the kids and I made a rocket with a straw for its body, index cards for fins, a rubber band stapled inside the straw, and a launcher made out of cardboard.
     What a great way for kids to unwind from a rigorous academic schedule during the day.
     Visit me on my website at: for more educational, motivating, and fun workshops I do at schools, birthday parties, recreational centers, and libraries.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Let's Create

     Teaching kids how to make something that flies is a direct lead-in for them to be creative.
     That's the way it was at Landmark School when I taught them how to make a Command Missile.  I showed them how to cut, fold,  place the nose cone and fins into the straw, and the importance of using paper clips for weight. Then we went outside to fly them.
      That's only half the story.  With knowledge of having already put one together, new cones, fins, shapes and lengths of their own Command Missiles became a creation.  Some of them actually flew better than the one I taught them. 
        I knew they "owned their creation when they had no fear getting in front of the class and explaining how to put it together.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Doing Is the Answer

     Kids like to do, not just listen to their teacher.  Behind every lesson, an activity should be tied into it.  While teaching them how to make a kite, we discuss the speed of air flow around the kite and its shape.  They understand why it goes up, and why it may not.  Their motivation to learn doesn't only come from listening, but from doing!

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

North Ranch Elementary School

Kids get excited when they get to do a hands-on project.  That's what we did at North Ranch(Paradise Valley School District).  Linda Zall, the after school director, had some 60-70 kids, ages 5-12 making airplanes and kites with me. Discussions of air pressure, wind, gravity, and lift helped the kids to understand how to make their projects successful.  In addition to a fun, educational experience, they got some well-deserved exercise.