meeting time was 10 am, and the team was ready to go.
The students sat silently as they studied their
on pterosaurs and Margot explained the rules of working
at Stanford. After, the high school teacher, Arthur, introduced
a few get-to-know-you games, which broke the ice. The team
returned to eat lunch and listen as Margot gave a presentation
on pterosaurs. It included the time frame in which they
lived and information on how they evolved over time.
came the first challenge. The team had been sent
a set of bone replicas for the pterosaur, but they
put together and there were no instructions. Using a
picture that was posted on the wall , the students
spent the remaining
three hours of their work day trying to put it together
so that the bones were in the right place and each joint
that was supposed to move, could, and each connection
that was not supposed to move, could not. There was
when it was discovered that the wrist pieces were missing
, but that was resolved as two students worked to reconstruct
them out of foam. The bones were originally assembled
using pins, but the team used various other materials
the pins were not sent over.
These materials included, but were not limited to rubber
bands, elastic, screws,
electrical tape, and a paper cup.
came four o'clock, and not a student was ready to leave.
All rapt in putting the pterosaur together,
time flew by. The team slowly departed, all trying
to finish what they were working on first. Some bones were connected using
resin, which was left to dry as the team departed. Much was completed, some
was labeled and ready to be assembled, and some was left unsolved and ready
endeavored on the next day. The team worked together smoothly on this exciting
first day—a great sign for the eight weeks to follow.
started work at 10 am with a quick briefing of the
day’s schedule by
Margot. Then the team got right to work. The plan was to finish construction
of the pterosaur bone model and get it ready for hanging up and videotaping.
A few students resumed their foam carvings of the pterosaur wrist, while some
others sculpted it out of clay. The positions of most of the bones were known,
so attaching them was the main task. Axel brought some flexible aluminum tubing,
which helped attach the neck vertebrae of the model. Meanwhile, another group
of students was having difficulties connecting the leg bones; the elastic didn’t
give the joints enough rigidity. Finally the problem was solved by drilling
holes in the plaster and threading paperclips or wire through. In the meantime,
rib assembly group was struggling due to lack of glue materials; they were
provided with a few glue sticks, and an iron. Later, Cameron’s dad saved
the day by bringing in a glue gun. Meanwhile, a photographer from San Francisco
was snapping photos of the team in action.
lunch, students were surprised with a pop quiz on pterosaur
parts and group member facts and names. There
were a few trick questions, but everyone was
sharp and knew all the answers. After lunch, the team split up into pairs
stability and control with an aerospace design computer program. After reading
about design and stability, each group got to design, simulate, model and
test its own mini airplane. The program used allowed
students to change wing, tail
and fuselage angles and dimensions, and see how flight was affected (stability
and performance-wise). It showed factors such as the lift to drag ratio,
which predicted how many meters the plane would fly.
We learned designing difficulties
and many variables to consider and constraints to satisfy. The final step
was to actually create the planes, using balsa wood
and paperclips. The team had
a blast testing the planes, and a few students even flew them down into the
building courtyard. Fortunately, most planes were successful. During construction,
Francisco Chronicle journalist came to visit and interview a few members.
All in all, it was an exciting day. We’re off to a great start, and the future
team started at 10 am as usual with a briefing about
what we would do for that day. We went
to work on our
gliders that we had started the previous day,
and proceeded to put on the finishing touches. Meanwhile, some of the team
was still working on assembling the pterosaur model,
which had proved elusive to
properly connect. Before lunch, we all tested the gliders. After lunch, the
team went to Roble field where Axle and Chin May showed
us the intricate design specifics
of their gliders and prop model plane. We took turns flying it until PJ crashed
it into the ground and broke the wing. We continued to fly the other planes
until we decided to clean up and leave.
started the day with our daily meeting, laying down
the events for the day. Everyone was anxious
to go to
Lake Lagunita again and fly the RC planes. Unfortunately,
we had too much to do to go and learn how to fly RC airplanes. Instead, we
went back to the drawing board, and designed
Pterosaur like gliders, like the ones
built in the past couple of days, but that had the shape of a pterosaur. The
gliders in the form of a pterosaur were a huge challenge to get to fly, mainly
due to the large head which made it yaw unstable. After a long days work, everyone
had their designs completed and were ready to assemble their gliders on Monday.
the work for the day was done, we all got together and
days’ work for Margot and Axel, and then me all settled down for pizza
and a movie, Winged Migration, to see how real birds flew.