Step-by-step instructions for 35 aerodynamic projects offer hours of fun and an increased understanding of what makes things fly.
Physics teacher Mercer, who described science principles in sports in The Leaping, Sliding, Sprinting, Riding Science Book (2006) here provides clear directions for building a variety of flying machines including rockets, gliders, helicopters, boomerangs and assorted launchers. An opening chapter called "Flight School" introduces the Bernoulli principle and four forces: lift, thrust, drag and weight. The author’s teaching background is reflected in his artful use of repetition. Each subsequent chapter begins with more flight school, repeating the relevant principles and applying them to the different forms of flying machines described. Many of the constructions use similar techniques and most are not difficult. The models are made of common materials: card stock and old folders, drinking straws, rubber bands and duct tape. Black-and-white photographs by the author show hand positions and paper folds, making the steps easy to follow. He recommends customary safety precautions and periodically reminds readers that some things may take practice. Makers of a series of these models, whether they were constructed as a school project or just for fun, will come away with a heightened understanding of aerodynamic principles.
Hands-on activities that encourage imaginations to soar. (Nonfiction. 8-14)