Session 10: Airplanes, Kites, and Model Rockets (August 4-8)

Before the designs of airplanes were made quickly on computers, the Wright Brothers made small models of their planes. Goddard made model rockets to test his rockets, and before modern science came Chinese kite makers. Armed with strong glue, blue prints, and the dream of flight, get ready to tug at your string, count down to blast off, and balance your kite with weighted tails. Perfect for children that love to learn as they create,Airplanes, Kites, and Model Rockets explores the coastline to find the perfect wind to fly airplanes, test out our kite designs, and open places where we can chase down our model rockets once their parachutes deploy.

  • Monday--Arches of Santa Cruz
  • Tuesday--Bean Hollow
  • Wednesday--Pillar Point (Half Moon Bay)
  • Thursday--Pigeon Point Lighthouse
  • Friday--San Mateo Bay
  • Monday--Arches of Santa Cruz--Building a kite that soars--We begin our investigation of kites by going to Arches in Santa Cruz.  Here children will have time to We’ll investigate the wide beach and the eroded arches, as we view pelicans soaring in formation overhead. How do they glide so effortlessly? Finding feathers on the beach we begin to get a sense of the need for light, strong materials to make flight possible. we will take time to design and construct kites using a variety of different materials including found materials. As we do, we learn what it takes to make a kite soar high into the air. Children need sturdy walking shoes, layered clothing, a big floppy hat, and sunscreen as well as a packed lunch.
  • Tuesday--Bean Hollow--Building the wing of a plane--We will investigate massive driftwood forts, play in the surf, climb on a massive reclining eucalyptus tree, and watch the loping flight of  great American egrets and great blue herons. Inspired by the flight around us we will build models of wings on the beach out of balsa wood, plastic, tape, and glue as we learn about what it takes to make flight happen. Children need sturdy walking shoes, layered clothing, a big floppy hat, and sunscreen as well as a packed lunch.
  • Wednesday--Pillar Point (Half Moon Bay)--Practice and modifications of our plane prototypes--Even the Wright Brothers tested their designs prior to their first flight. Pillar Point with its consistent winds is the perfect backdrop to modify our airplanes, test their designs, and learn how to get just the right ratio of wingspan to fuselage. Practice, failure, and then revising plans is what it takes to be an innovator.
  • Thursday--Pigeon Point Lighthouse--Do we have the right stuff? After investigating our launching area, we will settle down with model rockets kits, glue, and paint. As we begin to construct our model rockets we will learn about the history of flight. With each eagerly anticipated launch we anticipate how high our rocket will go, and then count down, “3...2...1...lift-off.” Children need sturdy walking shoes, layered clothing, a big floppy hat, and sunscreen as well as a packed lunch.
  • Friday--San Mateo Bay--Launches, gliding, and high fives--Seeing the kites, airplanes, and rockets all together, we have the day to practice flying kites, making our airplane gliders soar, and our water rockets launch. Children need sturdy walking shoes, layered clothing, a big floppy hat, and sunscreen as well as a packed lunch.