Monthly Archives: April 2012

TEDEducation Exponential Growth Video

This is a TEDEducation video, published today, that teaches about exponential growth using the concept of folding paper. I found it quite illuminating. I hope y’all enjoy it and find it useful as well.


Walkalong Gliders

Have you ever flown a paper airplane? My cousins and I used to in the summers at my grandparents’ house. It was so much fun, but we never could keep them in the air as long as we wanted.

I discovered a video on the Getting Smart website about using walkalong gliders for an in-class activity. The students use patterns to carefully cut out and fold the planes, and then they adjust the cuts and folds as they attempt to keep them in the air.

And how do they keep them in the air? By walking behind and under the gliders with a flat cardboard that would be called, I think, an airfoil, or by using their hands. The video explains the concept behind the gliders and even shows how to build a simple wind tunnel so that students can study wind and lift.

Maybe you’ve heard of walkalong gliders, but it’s a new concept for me. It looks like great fun, and I learned a lot just watching the video. I think students would really have a great time!

Are there any projects that you’ve used in your classroom or heard about that you’d like to share?

National Robotics Week, April 7-15

The Edward E. Whitacre Jr. College of Engineering at Texas Tech University is sponsoring the GEAR (Get Excited About Robotics) Challenge Competition Day. Elementary and middle school students have spent approximately 6-8 weeks building and programming LEGO® robots to perform specified tasks, and this Competition Day is the culmination of their hard work. There is no participation fee, and the competition is open to the public.

  • Saturday, April 21, 2012, 9:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m.
  • Texas Tech Recreational Center, 3219 Main Street in Lubbock.

More information is available at or email Email Tanja Karp.

Winners of the 2012 ExxonMobil Texas Science and Engineering Fair

Governor Rick Perry announced this week the winners of the ExxonMobil Texas Science and Engineering Fair. (And, might I say that I’m a little irritated that the title of the announcement called it a Science Fair rather than a Science and Engineering Fair!) The list of winners can be viewed here: Congratulations to all the students and their teachers. What a great accomplishment.