Do flying squirrels really fly? No, flying squirrels volplane!
Grammar: Use the word volplane instead of glide.
I recommend that you sign-up for Merrian-Webster’s Online Word of the Day.
I must admit that some days I do not take the time to look at the new words. But when I do, I am extra excited about learning a new word that applies to science.
A new word each day may be a bit much to try to learn, but you can pick and choose words that fit into what your children are studying. Or save the word for a later lesson. Now that is a good idea for me. I could make a list of words to use later–the only problem is that I have so many lists that I’d forget where it is–the file name– or that I even have the list. But, never the less, it is a good idea. While computers are wonderful, I still love having paper copies of things. Maybe this is because I could spend all day in an office supply store picking out neat things to use.
A card filing box is a good way to store new words. The filing box is also encourages organizational skills. I have a granddaughter who inherited my love for “stuff.” I can see Lauren filing her words under different subjects as well as in ABC order. She is grown with a sweet baby, but has not lost her love for office supply “STUFF.”
FYI: Unlike me, my granddaughter files all her stuff and I sometimes find bags with “stuff” I purchased months ago. But I have it–somewhere. Yikes! I have certainly been verbose –(how about that word?)
The history of the word “volplane” is given below or you can read it directly from the Merriam-Webster website. This sit also has a voice file that provide the correct pronunciation of the word. More about Volplane from Merriam-Webster.
“Vol plané” (meaning “gliding flight”) was a phrase first used by 19th-century French ornithologists to describe downward flight by birds; it contrasted with “vol à voile” (“soaring flight”). Around the time Orville and Wilbur Wright were promoting their latest “aeroplane” in France, the noun and the verb “volplane” soared to popularity in America as terms describing the daring dives by aviators (Fly Magazine reported in 1910, “The French flyers are noted for their thrilling spirals and vol planes from the sky”). The avian-to-aviator generalization was fitting, since the Wright brothers had studied the flight of birds in designing their planes.
Science Craft: Create a Paper Model of a Flying Squirrel
Paper airplanes glide through the air. Design a paper airplane that can model the volplaning of flying squirrels. You could draw a flying squirrel on the folded paper. While you can throw a paper airplane upward and watch it descend, find out how flying squirrels move when they leap into the air. Do they jump up? With this information, propel (throw) your paper airplane in a way to model the movements of the squirrel. You may have to adjust your paper airplane so that it moves in a way that best models a flying squirrel when it leaps from one tree toward –another tree? the ground?
For sample instructions, see Paper Airplane Models the Gliding of a Flying Squirrel.
Demonstrate that a balanced force does not affect the motion of an object it acts on.
Demonstrate that an unbalanced force causes changes in the motion of an object it acts on.
Application to the Flying Squirrel Model
When you hold the airplane, any forces acting on the paper airplane are balanced because the airplane is stationary.
When you throw the airplane, you are applying an unbalanced force on the airplane. This unbalanced force causes the airplane’s motion to change from a speed of zero to a maximum speed (depends on how much force you use). Since you do not continue to push on the airplane, as soon as it reaches its maximum speed it continues at this speed.
On Earth, as soon as the airplane is thrown, gravity starts pulling it toward the ground, so the vertical position of the airplane changes.
On Earth, there are air molecules that the airplane bumps into, so its horizontal motion changes (decreases).
In a Space Craft, because of the motion of the craft, there is no gravity, so the vertical position of the paper airplane does not change.
In a Space Craft there are no air molecules.Thus the horizontal speed of a thrown paper airplane would not change. Thus, the paper airplane would continue to move at the same horizontal speed with no changes in its vertical position until it crashed into something.