Over the school holidays, we hosted a two-day Engineering Physicists course exploring the principles of flight, Newton’s Laws and Bernoulli’s Principle. Participants explored the concepts using hands-on experiments and considered how flying devices or living things use unbalanced forces to control their flight.
Newton’s Laws and Bernoulli’s Principle were applied to sky diving with various physics equations applied to different situations, such as gravitational force, the force of drag, the density of liquids and drag co-efficients for simple objects.
The girls listened to a presentation by Qantas Engineer, Mark Duyckers, and enjoyed an excursion to iFLY Perth.
Mr Duyckers talked about his role as an aircraft engineer, the physics of flight, how different materials affect air resistance, and also answered curious questions from participants.
The girls had the chance to experience first-hand the physics involved in skydiving. They used the Engineering Design process and incorporated the principles of flight to design and create a prototype of an innovative flying device.
Each participant was able to work independently and get creative with her concept design and application, while considering the practicality and market for the design.
Ellie said she enjoyed learning about how planes employ the principles of flight to stay off the ground.
“I also enjoyed learning from an expert with the guest speaker from Qantas,” she said.
“The excursion to iFLY allowed me to feel first-hand how air pressure works and how much force was holding me up. Can you imagine doing this as your job every day?”
Charlotte said she enjoyed learning about the design of the plane.
“I enjoyed learning about how the shape and different materials ensure it is aerodynamic,” she said.
“I like designing and building my own device and found it challenging to implement the four principles of flight.”
Stella said the way the wings of a plane work and move were “different to my initial thoughts”.
“I enjoyed learning the complex equations that relate to the principles of flight and experiencing the sensation of air pressure in the wind tunnel on the excursion,” she said.
Stella said she enjoyed participating in Imaginarium holiday courses with a STEM focus.
“I like participating because you learn a lot of complex things that you don’t get to explore in the classroom,” she said.
“The courses are always fun, we get to experiment, and we are taught differently.”