The methodology applied on all experiments and projects reflects the Ohio Academic Standards in science, math and technology.
In this site you will see how I have used different aspects connected to flight to apply the notions learned in school and to familiarize George with more advanced ones.Each experiment begins with a brief explanation of the goal, the notions used and the connections between them. Also, there will be a description of the experiment and the materials used.
From these experiments the child will experience how different fields of knowledge are interconnected. For example, during the Frog Astronaut project, George learned about the dynamics of flight (propulsion, action-reaction, gravity) but also about anatomy (circulatory system and acceleration effects). Also, he noticed the wind speed at different altitudes and the process of organizing and conducting a flight test. During the rocket preparation, he learned how to scale down an geometric shape (we build a separate parachute for the capsule) and anticipated the behavior of the payload ejection in order to choose how to pack the parachutes.
Budgeting the experiment was another aspect we have addressed: in order to reduce the total costs, we lunched first a air rocket, to test the wind direction. Also, for safety, we lunched first a simple rocket, at a higher altitude. We called our launching area, Area 51,so George did some research over Internet about this and looked over that site with Google Earth.
As you can see, there are no limits how a simple experiment can use information from several disciplines. You can make a task as simple as launching a rocket as complex as you believe your child is ready for so chose your own methodology according to your specific situation.
Also, you will find on Internet many great sites about helping teachers to stimulate the student’s interest in science and math through hands-on projects. Aviation for Kids comes to complement this teaching approach from the parent standpoint; it’s not as much as following a standardized curriculum as about helping your child to connect his play with science at his level of understanding (be careful, never underestimate a child!).
Also, many times you will have to do YOUR homework, to “brush up” your science knowledge and to do some prior readings about different notions that you plan to use in your projects.
Don’t worry if you will encounter notions that your child have not yet learned about. It might be a good time to introduce a new concept he will learn later about. For example,my son was familiar with the Cartesian system of coordinates long time before it was mentioned at school because we used this notion during one of our projects (RC Jet Plane)
When I have start building this site, I considered the Ohio Academic Standards for Science and Math and I have rated the projects from 1 to 4, according to the relevance I estimated they had for each class of these standards.Later, I realized the I can connect these projects with many other field of knowledge as art and history. Therefore, I recommend a more non formal approach in conducting the science experiences with your kid. For information about this I recommend the excellent "Science Guideline for Non Formal Education" written by Stephan Carlson and Sue Maxa.Also,visit the METHOD page of this Web site for more information about this interdisciplinary method I have used in all projects.
If you want to share with other visitors your opinion about the methodology you are using and your experiences please do not hesitate to use the feedback form.