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