Make your own Ring Wing Glider is a collaborative post with The Year of Engineering. Anyone that knows me will confirm that I am big fan of encouraging kids to be creative and imaginative and try and get them off screens. This is one of the reasons I love #TheHolidayMakers campaign from the Year of Engineering. They are a series of challenges (one a week) over the summer holidays that parents can do with their children aged seven to sixteen to keep them active and to inspire them about engineering.
My Dad was an engineer, initially in the shipbuilding industry and then in the steel industry and I think that it is from him I get my imagination and love of creativity. He was a problem solver and a doer. He taught me that nothing was impossible with some thought, imagination and sometimes collaboration. However, he was also indicative of the lack of diversity in the industry where nationally 88% of the workforce is male and 92% white.
The Holiday Makers
The Holiday Makers campaign from the Year of Engineering plans to shake-up people’s ideas about engineering and inspire the next generation of innovators, inventors and problem solvers by showing them what engineers actually do and how they shape the world with a fantastic series of activities and challenges for parents to do with their children over the summer holidays via their online hub.
All of the activities are free and perfect to do at home (or even the beach) we made our gliders in the garden and the boys’ and their friends had so much fun with them not only whilst they were making them but after when playing with them in the street. The brilliant thing is they were learning without even being aware of it.
Your child can download their own personal holiday journal from the Holiday Makers website and record each of the challenges they have done in it over the summer and even take it in to show their teachers when they start back in September. There are also free events over the summer, so why not browse the events map to find inspiring events and days out across the UK, interactive
workshops, exhibitions and the chance to go behind the scenes at places like the BBC to see engineering in action.
Make your on Ring Wing Glider
- Printable template and downloadable instructions from The Holiday Makers
- 4 Straws (we prefer paper, better for the environment and also really easy to cut)
- Sticky tape (we used regular and also washi tape)
How to Make your on Ring Wing Glider
Print off your template and cut out the strips for the large and small ring. Join them together with tape
Then you need to connect your rings with straws by snipping slots in the staws and slotting the paper through.
Tip: Use differnt coloured straws to identify your gliders.
Before securing them with tape both inside and out for strength. The templates make this super easy as they make marks for where to line up the straws.
Tip: Washi tape is perfect for this cake as it tears and is repositionable.
It really is that simple and the Ring Wing Gliders are ace.
I have put together a video of the boys’ making their wing ring gliders. As you can see they were so excited to try them out and see which would fly the furthest. Make sure you watch till the end for the bloopers!
As my boys are a little older we took the discussion even further by talking about the forces that are placed on a plane.
- Thrust – the forward force on a plane, ususally usually an engine or with our ring wing glider a throw
- Lift – the upward force that allows a plane to fly, usually caused by the air under the wing pushing up on it due to the shape of the wing
- Drag – Friction or the force opposing the thrust on the plane which will cause it to slow down
- Gravity – the force pulling a plane down
You could also experiment by seeing what happens when you use short or even longer straws or even fewer straws. Or even apply a ballast in the form or a paper clip. Conduct a number of test flights and make a table showing the results.
Make sure you share photos of your completed challenges using the #TheHolidayMakers hashtag on social media and you could win some great prizes Find out more visit www.yearofengineering.gov.uk/theholidaymakers