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Learning to Fly

students from Matt Reininga’s 8th grade class
students from Matt Reininga’s 8th grade class

In early September, Matt Reininga’s 8th grade Project Lead the Way Schmucker class is studying flight & space. The class began working on plans to build balsa wood gliders that the students would later test and launch.


Mr. Reininga with student  student working on plans


Students worked for a week first designing their planes virtually using their Chromebooks. Students then got to get their “hands dirty” actually building their model planes--carefully measuring, cutting and painstakingly gluing pieces together in hopes of building the perfect glider.


students working on planes


Then on October 1, almost a full month later, students got to launch their planes and see all their hard work take flight. See the photo gallery below.


students launching planes


Students also launched motorized paper airplanes with POWERUP motors that propelled the planes through the air. Student Joe Smith was the winner in this category with his plane catching an updraft and flying for almost 2 minutes making circles about 30 feet over the grassy field behind Schmucker. Best guess, the little paper airplane flew about a mile!


student winner
Student Joe Smith with his top flying motorized paper airplane


Later in the semester, the class will change over to Computer Science for Innovators & Makers where students will begin to learn about physical computing using micro:bit microprocessors.


To download high resolution jpg files from the photo gallery below, just simply click the “DOWNLOAD” button on the bottom right-hand corner of the photo while viewing it in the Photo Gallery function. We are happy to provide this service to you free of charge.