Come Fly with Me: Notes on Primary School Technology

Richard C. Simpson
1988, Vol. 21, No. 1,


An episode

The spontaneity of ideas for which young children are well known brings many a precious moment in scientific investigations. For this reason I record an episode of learning first, then I shall discuss how a class of eight and nine year aids embarked on a project about 'Flight'.

A group of ten children, six girls and four boys were set the task of making our plastic lemonade bottle airship 'fly'. My contibution was to provide the prototype body, pose the initial question, then stand back and see what they came up with to solve the problem.

The group had spent two mornings observing a mounted pigeon wing, some feathers (with a microscope), and a pigeon skeleton. They had modelled a feather; built a model wing with real feathers, glue and plastic straws, and folded and flown paper aeroplanes.

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