Three different groups of HAL (High Ability Learners) students at Papillion and LaVista Middle Schools, interested in engineering, spent a day working with hovercrafts. The students began their day with a short presentation on Engineering Careers and one on Hovercrafts. After that, they created small hovercrafts using CDs, balloons and hot glue. The HAL students were able to test their designs with a distance challenge, to see whose CD hovercraft could move the furthest. Many hovercrafts were adjusted or improved upon between challenges. The big excitement of the day began after that. They began building their riding hovercrafts using wood, tarp and leaf blowers. Students were able to choose between several different leaf blowers, one battery-operated and two were electric. This was a big project, in which the HAL students learned that after the initial build many problems may come up and adjustments need to be made. In the end, all students had a great time racing their crafts with a little help from their friends. The last picture shows how one team solved their problem when they weren’t happy with their crafts’ performance. This was a good engineering lesson!
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