Gliders fly into Wapak

Staff photo/Cassaundra Smith: Christopher Moynihan assists Astronaut Camp participant  Ean Kramer with his glide Thursday afternoon.
Staff Writer

Toilet paper rolls, cardboard and popsicle sticks — these were the items used by Armstrong Air and Space Museum Astronaut Camp students Thursday to construct a glider.

Students participated in the Let it Glide design challenge, which is in partnership with NASA Glenn in Cleveland and is one of the organization's newest Engineering Design Challenges. The challenge has campers develop and build a glider and find ways to improve it to produce the greatest glide slope, the NASA website states. This activity allows the students to better understand the science behind aerodynamics.

“They're trying to figure out if they build a glider that can carry a payload, how far can they get it to go,” Director of Programming and Education Christopher Moynihan said. “This was just a basic glider — a basic payload about the size of a toilet paper tube is what they had to carry, and they had to carry it four meters at least.”

Students built their gliders in teams and had a chance to fly them once before being given a chance to redesign. They then got the chance to fly them again.

Astronaut Specialist Camp is open to kids in grades five through eight. In addition to the challenge, the campers also were able to fly in planes at the Neil Armstrong Airport in New Knoxville and learn about robotics from high school robotics team members. Today, on their last day of camp, they will launch model rockets.

See Friday's paper for the full story.