Young library patrons explore flight in Lone Tree

Slick Science teaches kids about planes, hot-air balloons

Posted 2/20/18

Jenna Blinci, 9, knew a lot about paper airplanes before she attended the Slick Science program at the Douglas County Libraries' Lone Tree branch Feb. 16. She attended the class hoping to get more …

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Young library patrons explore flight in Lone Tree

Slick Science teaches kids about planes, hot-air balloons

Posted

Jenna Blinci, 9, knew a lot about paper airplanes before she attended the Slick Science program at the Douglas County Libraries' Lone Tree branch Feb. 16. She attended the class hoping to get more knowledge about how paper airplanes work, and apply some of her theories to making them work better.

“There are actually four different kind of paper planes,” said Blinci. “There is a glider, a jet, a dart and a bug. I don't know why they call it a bug, but it's kind of small so I guess it could kind of look like a bug.”

Blinci and two dozen other children spent the afternoon at the library experimenting with paper airplanes under the direction of Dana DeJong-Boots, a librarian at the Lone Tree branch who presents the Slick Science program. Students were tasked with making four different airplanes, each made of different material. Kids presented a hypothesis about which plane they thought would fly better. Planes were made out of cardstock, paper, aluminum foil and wax paper.

“What do you think makes the best airplane?” Asked DeJong-Boots.

“Fly straight," "do tricks" and "not crash,” were responses from the crowd.

Ryland Liomin, 8, worked carefully on his airplanes, and predicted the plane made of wax paper would fly best, and noted that working with foil was more difficult than the other materials.

“Note—foil is harder to fold and crease,” said Liomin. Turns out Liomin was correct in his hypothesis. The plane made of wax paper flew straighter, while the plane made of foil curved and crashed.

After all the students tested their airplanes, they gathered to make homemade hot-air balloons, using tissue paper and glue sticks. Still encouraged to apply the principles of science, students suggested modifications they thought would make the balloons fly better.

“I want to put a weight on mine,” said Blinci. “I think it would help it.”

The class took to the yard outside the library to test their balloons, and determined that some of them flew too well, as they watched the second balloon that was launched fly up and over the roof of the library.

Susan Byrne, library branch manager in Lone Tree, said workshops held at the library are a great way to get kids out of the house to learn.

“The Slick Science program is a great intersection of two of Douglas County Libraries' big initiatives—fostering discovery through science and making it fun, too,” said Byrne.

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