Hovercraft used in a river rescue
Asheville Makers Learn To Solder Workshop at the West Asheville Library

Hovercraft Workshop at A.J. Whittenberg Elementary School of Engineering

On March 12,  2014 I visited  A.J. Whittenberg Elementary School of Engineering in Greenville, SC and led three 90 minute hovercraft workshops (one for each of the three 5th grade classes).

Read an article about this amazing school in The Atlantic  CLICK HERE

 

Here's the 2 minute highlight video: 

The workshop starts with a discussion comparing Engineering and Science. We then discuss the Engineering Design Process and compare it to the Scientific Method. Then we discuss friction and determine if it is good or bad. This leads to a discussion about hovercrafts, friction, and "lift". Then we start building mini hovercrafts out of old CDs and balloons. 

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We then discuss the difference between "lift" and "thrust" -- both are critical for hovercraft locomotion. Students experiment with a balloon as it provides thrust.

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With an understanding of lift and thrust it's time to ride the big hovercraft powered by a leaf blower.

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At the end of the day I led a 60 minute workshop for the teaching staff on "How To Teach Leadership in the Engineering Classroom". This is a fun, experiential workshop that got the teachers talking about leadership and teamwork in their classroom. I led activities found in the IATF Team Building Games Archive found inside the IATF Members Only Area

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Big thanks to Mr. Hamilton Parks of A.J. Whittenberg School of Engineering who made this day possible. 

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