A wing is a type of fin that produces lift and its design and analysis in aircrafts are determined by the science of aerodynamics or the dynamics of air as it relates to solid objects. Aerodynamics is used by anything that flies, both natural and man-made, such as birds and airplanes. They both move in very different ways even though they use the same principle.
Airplanes can fly because of the “push” or thrust that the engines give in order to move the vehicle through the air. The second contributor to an airplane’s flight is the movement of air over its wings, which creates a “lift” and thus keeps the vehicle in flight. Birds and other flying animals move through the air by flapping their wings, which creates both the lift and thrust needed to move without an engine. Unfortunately, it’s a difficult engineering feat to keep big airplanes in the air with wings that flap and that’s why our airplanes use an engine instead.
STEM and Aerodynamics
STEM refers to the study of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics related subjects. Aerodynamics is a very important STEM subject that has contributed to many man-made inventions since the idea was first developed in the 18th century, even though its concepts date back to the time before Christ. In 1903, aerodynamics was first put to the test when Wilbur and Orville Wright flew the first powered aircraft. This led to more collaborations between the aviation industry and people working with aerodynamics, which paved the way for aerodynamics as it is today. Modern technology and engineering have propelled this theory with inventions of the jet fighter planes such as F-16s and the F-35 Lightning II. Airplanes like this even defy the laws of gravity as they somersault through the air and can even fly with their engines turned off for short periods of time.
STEMmates and Aerodynamics
STEMmates have an aerodynamics course, designed to introduce students, aged 7 to 9, to the fundamental principles of aerodynamics and flight as well as the application of these principles in the design, construction, and operation of small flying models & kites. The design aspects of this course will include artistic design and therefore this course can be considered a STEAM course, which is STEM plus Art. The course covers the historical understandings and development of aerodynamics, concepts of airflow and lift in the design and construction of paper planes, concepts of prototypes and model testing using the scientific method, concepts of airflow, lift, and torque in the design and construction of kites made of wood, paper, and plastic and even artistic design considerations of kites made of wood, paper, and plastic. This course is also in line with the National Science Curriculum’s Physical Science segment and Visual Arts segment of the Australian Arts Curriculum. To find out more about our courses that can help your children fly to new heights, visit our Facebook and website pages today.