You’ll Never Believe How We Taught Science Today at Orbitur Rio Alto
As any ‘world schooler‘ or ‘road schooling family‘ knows… you sometimes have to seize a moment and take the opportunity to make learning fun… so where better than the beach at Orbitur’s Rio Alto campsite on a crisp, sunny morning in December!
So where’s the Science?
An engine produces ‘Thrust,’ which gets you moving, so that air flows over the wings of the plane. Thrust also solves ‘Drag,’ which is the force which tries to oppose the motion through the air. The other force is ’Weight.’ and the weight of any aircraft determines how much lift is required to get it into the air.
So what about Helicopters?
What experiments did we try?
- We tried throwing the newly purchased (15 euro from the girl’s favourite shop Tiger in Porto) helicopter into the air to start the process…. too much force! too unstable!
- We tried to add weight to the helicopter so it was too heavy (elastic band/pebble)… it failed to lift off
- We tried to fly it to the sun…. it failed as it got out of range at 30m high! So we had to make a desperate diving catch to avoid the small craft from disasterous damage!
- We tried to fly it backwards to see if it would go faster it didn’t, too much weight distribution at back
What about the access route to the beach…
We’d hoped we could have raced back past the old aquaduct that links Póvoa de Varzim to the nearby Vila do Conde and up the Rates mountian to catch a setting sun from the amazing viewpoint at S Felix Hill… but as we passed by the marina, we couldn’t help but be transfixed by this scene above… so with the girls enjoying a stroll down the ‘Happy Street’ we savoured perhaps our last Portuguese sunset before we head northwards towards Caminha and then the Spanish city of ‘Santiago de Compostela’
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