Nitinol Airplane Launcher
After learning about the properties of Nitinol, students design a balsa wood airplane launcher that uses Nitinol to launch the airplane. Directions for building a working airplane launcher are included.
Students should have an introductory understanding of nanotechnology that can be provided by Kits 1, 2, and 4.
Approximately 30-60 minutes
Middle or high school students
Students will design (or simply build from directions) a working balsa wood airplane launcher.
National Science Education Standards
- Content Standard E: Abilities of Technological Design.
Illinois State Science Learning Standards
- 11.B.4b. Propose and compare different solution designs to the design problem based upon given constraints including available tools, materials, and time.
- 11.B.5d. Choose a model and refine its design based on the test results.
- directions for building a Nitinol Airplane Launcher
- 30 10" x 10" pieces of foamboard
- 30 8-inch rubber bands
- 30 10" piece of Nitinol
- 30 balsa wood airplane
- 3 hair dryers
- 5-10 pairs of scissors