South Orangetown Central School District

Seventh grader builds air skimmer

Seventh grade Technology students have spent the last several days designing and building paper Air Skimmers.

The Air Skimmer Activity is a Project Lead the Way (PLTW) staple and the focus of the project is working on precise measurement skills. Using simple materials including heavy paper, tape and paper clips, students had to build a skimmer that can slide across the floor with ease. The distance that each Air Skimmer travels depends on the accuracy of the measurements and the craftsmanship that goes into the design. “This project is all about design and ultimately redesign as they test it during their launches. It doesn’t have that many parts but it can be a challenging project,” noted SOMS Technology teacher Kerry Beckmann. “Students that are successful with this project are encouraged to think about taking Design & Drawing for Production as eighth graders, which would help them if they want to further pursue engineering at Tappan Zee High School.”

On Friday, students began testing their Air Skimmers by launching them down a hallway and measuring how far they got. Students chose to make modifications to their designs to help it travel further by adding paper clips, which will add weight, and by covering up air spaces between where the main body and the fins are attached to their Air Skimmer.