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AES Helicopter Building Contest


Bavaria DSO / Ansbach ES
ANSBACH, Germany | November 26, 2013

AES Helicopter Building Contest

AES Helicopter Building Contest | Photo:

STEAM, or the integration of Science Technology Engineering the Arts and Mathematics is not a project, it is a way of learning for Mrs. Thompson's Multi-Age 1-2 class at Ansbach Elementary School in Katterbach, Germany.

This Helicopter Building Contest held at Ansbach Elementary School was the culminating STEAM activity for these Mini-cougars. One area of focus for Mrs. Thompson's AES students has been the exploration of Newton's Third Law of Motion which led students to pose the question, "How can a helicopter fly?" Central to the investigation this question launched was student discovery of engineering design in concert with the school problem solving strategy UPSL.

AES parent, CW3 Trinidad Rodriguez, was kind enough to take time out of his busy schedule to visit AES to provide these eager students a demonstration and some insight into how rotors provide lift to a helicopter.

Students were so fortunate as to share in an initial introduction to the project at the Katterbach Air Field. They were able to check out the Black Hawk engines and even sit behind the controls in the cockpit.

The students further prepared for the project by reading stories in aviation and researching the role of the Wright Brothers in the evolution of human flight.

Their next steps: designing and constructing their own helicopters under a 2 week timeline. The goal? Achieve lift off! Also, investigation into what has worked and what hasn't, and most importantly, why? These inquisitive minds want to know.

Throughout, Mrs. Thompson's class works toward honing their abilities in communicating their mathematical thinking coherently and clearly to peers, teachers, and others. Building capacity in these future engineers to articulate the 'why' and the 'how' in what they've observed and experienced is sure to benefit them in their future educational pursuits and their lives.

The STEAM classroom is a dynamic learning environment in which students, parents, and teacher are equal partners, sharing ownership in the education of these children. Mrs. Thompson's Mini-Cougars extend their most sincere thanks to CW3 Trinidad Rodriguez and his fellow soldiers. Their contributions as flight instructors and aeronautics professionals to Mrs. Thompson's class enabled her to point the students in the right direction and watch them take off!

Learning is a celebration and at AES we have lots to celebrate. Students in Mrs. Thompson's STEAM classroom collaborate with one another to use inquiry in finding solutions to real-world problems while maintaining their focus on grade level standards and essential educational skills. In this community of learners, each student finds success and develops the tools they need to soar.


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