NASA IITA K-12 PROGRAM/
OHIO SPACE GRANT CONSORTIUM
B.O. DAVIS JR. AVIATION HIGH SCHOOL
Program where high school students build a small sub-sonic wind tunnel
to use in the classroom to visually demonstrate aeronautical principals
which further advance the students level of understanding in the areas
of math and science. The program is sponsored by NASA Glenn Research Center.
an initial meeting held on June 5, 1995 it was decided that students from
the General Benjamin O. Davis, Jr. High School with funding provided from
NASA High Performance Computing and Communications(HPCC)/Information Infrastructure
Technology Applications(IITA) K-12 Program and the Ohio Space Grant Consortium
would construct a high tech model wind tunnel. The focus of this effort
would be to use the wind tunnel construction, operation, and experimentation
activities to inspire students to explore the world of mathematics and
science by utilizing HPCC/IITA and aerodynamic formulae.
The General Benjamin
O. Davis Jr. Aviation High School is located in the City of Cleveland,
Ohio and is part of the Cleveland City School District. The Cleveland
City Schools serve 74,000 students. The Davis Aviation High School is
one of 19 high schools in the district and serves approximately 300 students
preparing them for careers in a variety of aviation disciplines. The Benjamin
O. Davis Jr. Aviation High School reflects the cultural diversity of the
Cleveland Public School District and the community and is interested in
promoting women and minority interest in aeronautics.
The wind tunnel project has a design/construction team comprised of 14
students (10 males and 4 females) representing a culturally diverse team
of African-Americans, Asian, Caucasians, and Hispanics. The team began
its project by visiting NASA Glenn Research Center to obtain first-hand
knowledge of wind tunnel operation and attended sessions at the Ohio Aerospace
Institute (OAI) for development and design brainstorming sessions facilitated
by NASA research engineers.
Ten of the students
volunteered their time during the summer of 1995 to construct a 26' long
wind tunnel with a 5'x5' inlet and a 18"x18" viewing area. Several NASA
engineers have provided technical and design support during the construction
The entire student body of General Benjamin O. Davis Jr. High School,
will be impacted by this project. Students of the surrounding communities
will visit our site and use the internet to send data retrieved to remote
locations. Data transfer and video conference techniques make the geography
between sites transparent.
Data acquisition will
be accomplished by the use of instrumentation of "pressure transducers"
sending signals to an analog/digital converter. The computer will also
be used to control the speed of the wind tunnel motor. This idea was generated
by one of the students working on the project.
The use of computer
and data acquisiton systems to retrieve information to incorporate into
mathematical formulae gives a real life meaning to complex principles
by allowing students to visualize abstract theories.
- Create a positive
experience in hands-on aerospace research.
- Illustrate the
practical need for teamwork, planning and scheduling.
- Require product
development or product analysis within a fixed price.
- Provide opportunities
to enhance communication and presentation skills through interim reviews.
- Build working models
that can interface with existing computer platforms for data acquisition,
processing and analysis tasks.
- Leverage computer
platform experience as an introduction to advanced computing platforms/hardware.
- Build positive
awareness of Aeronautics and NASA in the surrounding community.
Tunnel Project Goals
- Students will expand
their resource and inter-school horizons through Internet and HPCC.
- Students experience
science, math, and design through hands-on creative problem-solving
- Students build
intra-school teamwork, communication, and project management skills
through team projects.
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