Sea Scout Ship 502

We love to sail.

Mar 15 Program: Wind – Given by Kim

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In the spirit of Spring Break, the evening’s program was a “field-trip”-style fun exercise, in which we went outside and observed how certain objects are designed to travel in unique paths relative to the wind, rather than just blowing away from the wind. We flew kites and threw boomerangs and frisbees to closer study the phenomenon of lift (why kites, helicopters, and airplanes rise in the air, why boomerangs travel in circular paths, and why sailboats are able to sail upwind). Okay, so obviously we all already know how lift works (click here if you don’t:, but since school was out, we just wanted a fun activity that didn’t require any heavy-duty thinking.

While there wasn’t enough wind to keep the kites flying on their own, we created our own by running with the kites to keep them aloft. As for the boomerang, nobody’s attempt at a complete circular path was successful. After a bit of research, I discovered that we had been doing everything correctly, except we had been throwing the boomerang straight into the wind (apparently the boomerang works best when thrown 90 degrees to the wind). However, I’m not sure this bit of information would have helped us.

Further reading on how a boomerang works/how it is supposed to be thrown:

While we already understood the basic principles of lift, this program gave everybody a better feel for how these priniciples apply to sailing and boatspeed.

written and posted by Kelly Goodman


Written by ship502

March 21, 2010 at 19:23

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