On Friday, January 17th we had our first STEM Field Trip of the Spring 2020 semester. 45 fifth grade students from the Joseph Lee Elementary School came to learn about Aerospace Engineering. This field trip was done in cooperation with the Northeastern student organization Aerospace NU, who helped throughout the day.
The day started with a quick introduction to the field of aeronautics, wherein students learned the forces in play to keep aircraft in the air (using this Presentation). Aerospace NU also showed the students what kinds of activities their student group does on campus, as well as going more in depth on how Newton’s laws are important when designing and launching planes and rockets. The students then used their newfound knowledge and designed, tested, and improved paper airplanes in three different competition categories: furthest flight, fastest flight, and most cargo carried.
Following this activity (and lunch), the students designed and built paper rockets, with a variety of fin designs and numbers. We wrapped up the day by testing the rockets in Centennial Circle – shooting the rockets into the sky and across campus. A couple of the designs even traveled over 150 feet into the air (distance calculated by timing launch to apex and using math/physics to calculate max height reached).