Tunnels and Turbines: Engineering the Movement of Air

Children experimenting with air dynamics
Child experimenting with air dynamics
Children experimenting with air dynamics
Children experimenting with air dynamics with tubes

Experiences involving the engineering of air streams engages children and adults in inquiry to use engineering tools and systems to control the effect of air on objects. Educators can pose problems to children that will entice them to investigate and engineer solutions to these problems and come up with their own ideas about how they can use air to move objects. Experimenting with these activities allows children the opportunity to develop reasoning as they act on the different objects by blowing through tubes of various sizes and make hypotheses (guesses) about what may happen and observe the results. Sometimes the results confirm their predictions but often the objects do not move as easily as children expect. Children are then led to vary their action and try again with this new information in mind.

Participants in the workshop will have these same opportunities to experiment with air dynamics using everyday materials such as straws and cotton balls to move air. More sophisticated systems will be engineered with vacuum cleaners and clear plastic tubes and PVC connectors as participants begin to understand the dynamics of air. Photos and video exemplars from classrooms will also be discussed throughout the interactive workshop.

Workshop format:  face-to-face

Length of workshop:  3 hours

Number of participants:  limited to 24

To view the experience sheet for this workshop, please click here.