National Aeronautics and Space Administration
Engineering Design Challenge: Forces and Motion -- The Great Boomerang Challenge

This Web Seminar took place on April 11, 2012, from 6:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. Eastern Time. The presenter was Rudo Kashiri, NASA Explorer Schools Specialist at Langley Research Center. In this Seminar, Ms. Kashiri introduced a new lesson that shows how aerodynamic forces influence flight characteristics by engaging students in the process of designing boomerangs.

The PowerPoint, related resources from the NSTA Learning Center, and web links from the presentation are now contained in the above resource collection. Clicking on the collection link will place it in your Learning Center, My Library, neatly organized under the My Resource Collections tab.

This was the second presentation of the Engineering Design Challenge: Forces and Motion -- The Great Boomerang Challenge program. In the seminar, Ms. Kashiri explained strategies for getting students excited about the engineering design process by using the 5-Es (Engage, Explore, Explain, Extend, and Evaluate). She talked about two experiments with boomerangs that can help teachers correct student misconceptions about flight. Ms. Kashiri also shared online resources, including movie clips, lesson plans, and collaborative tools from NASA Explorer Schools.

Forty-five (45) participants were present at the live Web Seminar in addition to the presenter and NSTA staff. Participating educators represented the states of Arizona, California, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Illinois, Kansas, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Missouri, New Jersey, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia and Washington. Four participants joined the program from locations outside of the United States: Bermuda, Germany, Israel and Turkey.

Seminar participants received one of the NSTA SciGuides. A certificate of attendance was deposited into participants' My PD Record and Certificates area in the NSTA Learning Center for completing the evaluation form at the end of the program.

Here are some comments provided by the participants at the end of the Web Seminar:

  • “I once built boomerangs with 7-graders, which worked well, but the theoretical part got a little bit under time-pressure. This seminar helped me to build up a new try to bring more light to it.”
  • “Helpful in illustrating the concept of motions and also a fun activity.”
  • “I teach a Physical Science class. This content illustrates multiple concepts in physics in an engaging form.”
  • “The information itself was quite interesting. Even though I teach younger kids it would be fun to do the experiment with them.”

Thanks to the participants and the presenter for the learning opportunity, the interactions, and a job well done!

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