Links

In this page you will find links to various websites where you will find many interesting ideas and useful tools in assisting your child education. 

There are so many resources for assisting parents in the education of their children available today that it’s hard to choose the best ones. Keep in mind that children are different and select them accordingly. Here is a list of books I bought and I use to play/teach my son.

I do not plan a specific time for these activities. Instead, I try as much as I can to address them on-the-go; Sometimes I am initiating such learning moments but generally, I wait for the best time to start a science experiment or to connect math with something we encounter in the daily life.

Observe your child’s mood and approach him naturally otherwise you risk to provoke an unwanted rejection. The main goal is to ignite his curiosity and to make him understand that all things are connected and, more important, the knowledge he is getting at school will help him dealing with the world around.

Links to Software

The following programs are not directly related with aviation. However,I have decided to link them here because they are highly educative and they fit in the concept of project based education and interdisciplinary learning.Also these educational games and simulators are a great tool for you,as a parent,to assist your child in the discovery of new field of knowledge and to approach them in a nonformal way .This can be an excellent complement to the standard academical curriculum followed in schools.

MSWLogo 
MSWLogo is a free application based on LOGO programming language and it’s a great environment for exploring mathematics, language, science, the computer, number systems, and so much more. While the threshold for Logo is exceptionally low — as young as two years old — the ceiling is limited only by your imagination.

I strongly recommend you to download the free book (pdf format) “The Great Logo Adventure” written by Jim Muller. The author has had a lifelong interest in translating high technology into understandable, practical, and enjoyable applications — especially for young people. He began working with Logo in 1979 while public relations manager for Texas Instruments Incorporated. The book is written in a very “kids friendly” format and it might spark your children interest for programming and math.

MSWLogo is based on the Turtle Geometry that was added to Logo by Seymour Papert in the late 1960s.Using a small turtle (actually a triangle on the screen) the students are introduced to different mathematical notions in a very intuitive and exciting way. Papert has been widely known for focusing on the impact of new technologies on learning in general and in schools as learning organizations in particular.Whilst working at MIT he used Jean Piaget work to create Logo as a tool to improve the way that children and solve the problems. For more information about Seymour Paper work I will recommend his book” Mindstorms: Children, Computers and Powerful Ideas”.

Logo programming language was initially used by Lego Company in the development of their Lego Mindstorm robotic kit.

Soda Constructor 
Soda Constructor is a free physics and engineering simulator that runs in a web browser. Using Soda Constructor you can make structures and creatures by putting springs and masses together.

The springs are then connected to a muscle wave that makes the springs expand and contract rhythmically. With careful design of the springs you can make your structure move across the screen.

There is a Soda Constructor zoo, where users can share the creatures they have made.

To successfully build a structure, builders must understand the concepts of centre of gravity and cross-bracing. These concepts can be discovered by trial and error.

Students can experiment with existing creatures from the zoo or built in library and explore the effects of adjusting gravity, friction and spring strength.

In addition to the SodaZoo, there is a SodaRace competition, which consists of an online olympics competition.

To use this program just follow the link.You do not have to download anything.

TreeMaker 
TreeMaker is a free program for the design of origami bases made by Robert Lang, a laser physicist from Pleasanton, California, who has moved origami into the electronic age.You draw a stick figure of the base on the screen; each stick in the stick figure (the "tree") will be represented by a flap on the base.

You can also place various constraints on the flaps, forcing them to be corner, edge, or middle flaps, and/or setting up various symmetry relationships (forcing pairs of flaps to be symmetric about a line of symmetry of the paper, for example). Once you have defined the tree, TreeMaker computes the full crease pattern for a base which, when folded, will have a projection (roughly speaking, its "shadow") equivalent to that specified by the defining tree. The crease pattern can be printed out, or copied and pasted into another graphics program for further processing.

The intersections between origami, mathematics, and science occur at many levels and include many fields of the latter. I have discovered that origami can be a very useful tool in showing kids how math is connected with real life. You can start by folding paper planes and learn about symmetry, center of gravity, kinetic energy and forces of the wind on the airplane. If you want to go further, you can create complex shapes.

Check Robert Lang’s web page for some amazing projects and information about the applications of origami in life and technology.You will also find here some links to other sites where the mathematical aspects of origamy is explained in detail.

NASA Education 
The two main goals of NASA's education program are to "inspire and motivate students to pursue careers in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics" by supporting education in the Nation's schools and to "engage the public in shaping and sharing the experience of exploration and discovery" by supporting informal education and public outreach efforts.NASA EDUCATION is a great tool for teachers as well as a great motivator for children of all ages.You will also find here many links to other useful resources in teaching aviation to kids. 

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