Stu­dents study aero­dy­nam­ics

South Canterbury Herald - - TEMUKA NEWS - RACHAEL COMER

Rock­ets were de­signed, and launched, at Opihi Col­lege, as stu­dents took a hands on ap­proach to aero­dy­nam­ics.

On Mon­day year 9 to 13 stu­dents at the school worked on wa­ter bot­tle rock­ets and aero­planes con­structed us­ing 3D print­ers, with tu­tors from Ara In­sti­tute of Can­ter­bury’s science, tech­nol­ogy, engi­neer­ing and math­e­mat­ics (STEM) pro­gramme. One of the mod­ules for the lessons was de­vel­oped in col­lab­o­ra­tion with NASA.

Opihi Col­lege head of science Ash­ley Her­bert said, as part of the course which was taught to year 9 and 10 classes, and then year 11 to 13, stu­dents de­signed rock­ets us­ing wa­ter bot­tles and aero­planes, which in­cor­po­rated the use of 3D print­ers for the wings.

She said it was the first time stu­dents had taken part in the classes, and it had been a pop­u­lar way of learn­ing.

‘‘Some of the kids are quite keen,’’ Her­bert said.

‘‘For oth­ers it’s a good way to show them how science is in­cor­po­rated into other sub­jects. It’s a science and tech­nol­ogy project and Ara has some amaz­ing equip­ment, that we can’t af­ford.’’

STEM co-or­di­na­tor Miranda Sat­terth­waite said the lessons would help reignite an in­ter­est in engi­neer­ing and science.

She said it was great to pro­vide the lessons at Opihi Col­lege, which was the home-town of one of the ‘‘great avi­a­tors’’, Richard Pearce.

‘‘We chose this unit to bring down here be­cause of him.

‘‘We hope to reignite that in­no­va­tion that Richard Pearce had all those years ago.’’

Stu­dents Jia Pren­tice, 15, and Alex Drum­mond, 17, said they were ex­cited about the tech­nol­ogy they were work­ing with dur­ing the class.

‘‘It’s re­ally fas­ci­nat­ing,’’ Jia Pren­tice said.

The pair had de­signed a plane and were work­ing with a 3D prin­ter to make cer­tain parts of it.

‘‘It’s in­ter­est­ing and lots of dif­fer­ent sub­jects rolled into one,’’ Alex Drum­mond said.

They said physics was the big­gest part of the work they were do­ing.

‘‘It’s cool,’’ she said.

PHOTO: JOHN BIS­SET/STUFF

Carl Pavletich, of Fab Lab, and Hunter McKay, 16, talk about aero­planes and aero­dy­nam­ics at Opihi Col­lege on Fri­day.

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