Richard McCaskill

I have been an AMA Associate Vice President for District IX, covering the state of Colorado for the past three years.   I have been active in RC aviation for more than 60 years, while engaged in a professional career building team experience in design, engineering, and manufacturing of military and commercial technology and I recently retiring after years of startup and managing high technology companies around the world.  My work as an inventor and a degree in electrical engineering enabled me to found and participate as a team member to create nine companies specializing in fiber optic communications, computers, human input devices, data encryption and security.  I hold nine named US patients for new technology inventions, have published over 40 technical articles, and taught graduate courses at Caltech, UCLA and MIT.

Dream BIG: Unmanned Air Systems (UAS) and Robotics and Our New Future

In a recent article I wrote for Model Aviation magazine, I described an important event I helped organize for small rural schools in my area. We call it Dream BIG and the event is an inspiration of educators in the rural area of Colorado along with the AMA and UAS community in the state.  The purpose of this event is to inspire students for STEM-based learning programs and to dream big about the infinite opportunities they have for careers to improve our world.  Also, we wanted to provide students with a way to learn about all the exciting new technologies and inspire students who normally do not have access to this technology in rural America.

This year’s event brought together the high school students from ten high schools in the southeastern section of Colorado around the town of Eads.  These schools are all small K-12 schools with typical total student population of 100-125 students in all grades.  The event was set up to educate the students on the new existing fields of UAS, robotics, cyber-security, aerospace, and 3D printing.  Some high school students drove more than an hour to attend the event, coming from an area that is mainly agriculture and cattle farming in the most southeastern section of the state of Colorado.  The towns they come from typically have populations less than 1000 residents, real rural communities!

Approximately 250 students from the schools were pre-assigned to 5 groups of approximately 50 students per group, rotating through five technology learning themes in 40-minute sessions throughout the day. We had five major learning areas: 1) Space - Blast off to Mars; 2) Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS) and Robotics - Our New Future, 3) E-mission and Cyber-security - The new Threat 4) Aviation - You Can Fly and 5) Advanced Manufacturing (3D printing and design) - Forging Ahead in Colorado.

Each session was made up of two segments: an indoor discussion followed by demonstrations outside. For outside demonstrations we wanted to have students become more involved in these activities so they could see and, some cases, fly a UAS or fly in an airplane.  We wanted all sessions to be unique and include multiple simulations and demonstrations.  All the events were held on the football field and track area.

More than twenty organizations, from the AMA to the United States ARMY, the Colorado School of Mines, United Airlines and Wings Over the Rockies Museum and others too numerous to mention join our team to help make the event a success.  If you would like more details about how we recruited them and organized their participated please feel free to contact me at rickm1947@aol.com.

Glenn Smith, Eads District Superintendent, passed on the following comment:  "I had a superintendent advisory committee meeting yesterday and several of the superintendents reported that their kids were so excited and inspired by the event; many of the high school students reported it was the best field trip and school day of their life.  All were very grateful and appreciative of the experience. It was Grand slam home run!"  Thanks to all!"

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Gordon Schimmel

I began my teaching career with two years of Peace Corps service in Morocco followed by three years on the Peace Corps training staff in Washington, D.C.  During a 31-year career in public education I have taught elementary, middle, high school and college students, supervised innovative education programs for the Massachusetts Department of Education, served as Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum and Instruction in the Falmouth, Massachusetts Public Schools and completed my career as Superintendent of Schools in Mansfield, Connecticut.

My interest in modeling began at an early age with venerable stick and tissue free-flight warbird kits that, quite honestly, I never could successfully fly.  After a multi-decade modeling hiatus I returned to simple free-flight modeling, a few of which I actually have be able to fly!  I hold a Private Pilot’s license and have enjoyed numerous full-scale airborne adventures with friends in aerobatic biplanes, sailplanes, hang gliders and parasails – all great fun.  However, I have am now more  focused on pursuing my interest in free-flight models, a much less-expensive activity with significantly lower risk!

I am a twenty-two year veteran of the Academy’s Education Committee, serving as Chair for fourteen years.  In this capacity, I have been fortunate to be able to secure a number of grants for the AMA’s education department, beginning with Inventing Flight, Dayton, Ohio’s Centennial of Flight celebration in 2003, that eventually led to partnerships with the Arconic (formerly Alcoa) Foundation and NASA.  I am a co-author of AeroLab, the AMA’s classroom-based STEM activities for middle and high school students.  Currently, I also serve as Chair of the Academy’s Scholarship Committee.

My growth as a modeler and educator has been enhanced by the AMA professional staff in Muncie, Indiana, as well as by my colleagues on the Education Committee; it is remarkable how many talented individuals come together under the AMA banner to offer newcomers an opportunity to participate in the recreational and educational benefits of model aviation.  My enjoyment in being a member of the Academy has always been as much about the people I have been privileged to meet as the good things I have experienced in model aviation.  As an educator, I am firmly committed to life-long learning and my personal AMA mantra is a simple: Learn, Grow, Fly with Us!

 

Two Classroom STEM Activities Using Aerolab

 

Jetstream & FPG-9

The Science

The point of these lessons, what some educators call "The Big Idea," is that both models illustrate Newton's Third Law: "For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction." The lift that enables the FPG-9 and the Jetstream to fly, nicely illustrates this Law, as does the action of the control surfaces on the FPG-9. The glider activity gives students the chance to use control surface settings to bank and turn (even loop) the plane as desired. In addition, the Jetstream activity gives students practice in manipulating variables such as weight and drag, and provides an opportunity for them to work together in teams to design the fastest flying airplane.

These two activities originally were written for STEM classroom presentations, but they easily can be modified for use with community groups by simply omitting the mathematical calculations and encouraging children to observe the differences in flight performance when variables such as weight and drag are added.

Room Set-Up

A "typical" classroom setting to do these presentations is rare; district facilities vary in size configuration so these instructions are written for the most ideal of circumstances. A fundamental requirement is that student desks must be movable to enable sufficient fling space to be created in the room to accommodate FPG-9 and Jetstream test flights.

Introduction to the Academy of Model Aeronautics

Talking Points:

  • The AMA provides the organizational support for more than 2,400 model flying clubs in the U.S.
  • The Academy was the original STEM organization! When Lindbergh flew the Atlantic in 1927, model airplane clubs and ensuing competitions were seen as an educational pathway to a technical education-thus our name. The Academy of Model Aeronautics.

Assembly Instructions for the FPG-9 and Jetstream Activities

Important: Presenters should review the two AeroLab videos on how to assemble and fly the FPG-9 and the rubber-powered balsa model, as well as practice flying each model before doing a presentation with teachers and students. Below is a history of the AMA/ARCONIC partnership and assembly instructions for the FPG-9.

The FPG-9 (Foam Plate Glider, 9-Inch)

 

Prep and Set-Up

  • An AMA/ARCONIC "Flight Research Kit" containing 35 FPG-9s is usually sufficient to do a typical class. Instructions in the kit will help provide the presenter with adequate information on how to conduct the lesson.

flightkit1-v2

  • Three or four " built-examples" of FPG-9s greatly simplify instruction during the lesson.
  • Scissors for each student are necessary to assemble FPG-9s.
  • Pennies for the FPG-9 are necessary for each student.
  • The classroom teacher can help distribute an FPG-9, scissors, and a six-inch strip of masking tape to each student that will be used for FPG-9 assembly.

Assembly and Flight Instruction

  • Assemble FPG-9
  • Demonstrate launch technique
  • Give the students 10 minutes to test fly the glider

The "Total Control" Video

If time permits, show "Total Control," the 10-minute video that illustrates how the Wright Brothers unlocked the secret of controllable flight.

Conclude the session by reminding the students that this model aircraft flies on flat wings, illustrating the lifting power of Newton's Third Law: "For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction."

 

Instructions for the Guillow's Jetstream Activity

 

Prep and Set-Up

  • Three or four "built-examples" of the Jetstream greatly simplifies instruction during the lesson.
  • Typically, the classroom teacher will have a desk-size wastebasket handy tha tyou can borrow to use as a platform for the pylon.
  • Assemble the pylon with a tether slightly less than two-meters, and mount it on the inversted wastebasket.
  • Position wastebasket with pylon and tether in the flying space at the rear of the room.
  • Using masking tape, lay out four "hash-marks" at 0, 90, 180, 270 degrees around the flight perimeter, to enable students to more accurately sport takeoffs and landing.
  • If at all possible, test-fly the Jetstream on the tether before the students arrive.

Assembly and Flight Instruction

  • Demonstrate the short time rubber-band motor provided in the kit
  • Demonstrate stretch-winding competition rubber-band, proper launch techniques
  • Assemble the Jetstream
  • With the classroom teacher's help, divide the group into teams of four to wind the motor and help each team with their initial flights.

Conclude the session by reminding the students that this model aircraft flies on flat wings, illustrating the lifting power of Newton's Third Law: "For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction."

 

 

Have a question for Gordon? Contact him HERE

Click HERE to order Aerolab

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Daren Hudson

My previous career as a full-scale aerobatic instructor and current profession as a commercial airline pilot was, in part, motivated by model aviation.  Beginning with control line and early radio control as a teenager and returning to the hobby in 2011, I currently enjoy and participate in a dozen electric and gas AMA Special Interest Groups, from micros, foamies, and gliders, to ducted fan and turbine jets. For the past six years I have been a member of the Plum Island Airport RC Flyers and the Freemont Flyers, serving as president of both, and currently serve as an AMA Associate Vice President for District I.

I encourage all clubs in our area to get involved with their communities through school enrichment programs, STEM programming, town recreational departments, festivals, even parades! We “get the word out” to the general public and educators, providing proof of the positive educational aspects of our hobby by sharing flying fields, the extraordinary talent of club members, and promoting AMA’s outstanding safety record.  The experience AMA mentors bring to instruction introduces a new generation to life “outside the box.”  

Demonstrating RC flying to children and adults at community events and teaching at schools has been a special treat.  Some of the activities I’ve been involved in the past few years:

  • Grades 3 and 5 STEM programing using AMA resources: “Total Control”, “Discover Flight” Videos; FPG-9 Gliders, Flight Test F22 on buddy box for schoolyard demos (teacher on buddy box, big hit!) - practical application for classroom work.
  • After-school enrichment program: With help from a club volunteer, I provided a static display of several aircraft, simulator experiences, and a Night Vapor ultra-light 3-channel plane for indoor flight demonstrations.
  • University of New Hampshire: This past winter, I had the pleasure of coaching Mechanical Engineering students from UNH for their intercollegiate design competition and I am proud to note that they placed 1st in the competition.
  • Plum Island Airport Aviation Appreciation Day- Members of the Plum Island Airport RC Flyers and several others came together for an appreciation day for a local Boy Scout troop that previously helped with a huge brush-clearing project.  The day was filled with a ground school on full-scale instrumentation followed by an RC ground school.  The scouts were treated to flight demonstrations by several talented RC pilots, as well as offered “stick time” using four buddy boxes.  The day was capped off with full-scale airplane rides provided by four area private pilots who donated their time.  A true “all-aviation” day.

The talent base of our membership is vast and using these resources at every opportunity is key to the survival of model aviation.  Our collective goal must be to get all ages flying, learning on a simulator, a buddy box, in the air at club and community events.  This is how the “bug” will bite!

If you have questions or would like more information about our work, feel free to contact me at dth7@comcast.net

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Bill Kuhl

Model aviation has been a huge part of my life starting sometime before I was 10 years old. The early teenage years were mainly control line flying but I started flying radio control when I was 13 years old; in a few years I was competing in RC pylon racing. More recent years have been RC sailplanes, sport electric RC, and free flight. I have been passionate about promoting the model aviation hobby, especially to young people. I have promoted model aviation through demonstrations at schools, community education classes, parks and rec programs, hobby-shop sponsored STEM program, and through a College for Kids summer class at a local university.

I have reached the largest number of people through my website (http://www.ideas-inspire.com) and my mainly model-aviation orientated blog (http://scienceguyorg.blogspot.com/) that recently exceeded ¼ million views.  I have detailed instructions for a rubber-powered model plane constructed from foam plates and a small amount of balsa, that I call the Fantastic Foam Flyer  (http://ideas-inspire.com/fantastic-foam-flyer/).

Another web article I spent a great deal of effort on was Basic Aerodynamics with a Lesson. Through a series of drawings I tried to convey the basics of model aerodynamics with a few sample questions included. I hope that teachers could include this in their lesson plans.   http://ideas-inspire.com/basic-aerodynamics-with-lesson/

Have a question for Bill? Contact him HERE

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AMA Day Camp is a resource for our education outreach volunteers, as well as any model aviation educator or club that is seeking guidance. Here you will find ideas, activities, and suggestions on how to deliver and promote our education outreach program at home, in the classroom, or out on the flying field!

Hosting a club open house is a great way to get the community involved in model aviation!

Here you will find activities that will help you teach the basic science concepts of flight to your students!

Hosting a club open house is a great way to get the community involved in model aviation!

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