STEM girls learn about physics at iFly
October 26, 2016
Ever wanted to experience the thrill of near weightlessness? Ever wondered the science behind skydiving? On Oct.26, a group of Irvington’s STEM girls went to iFly to not only experience the exhilarating feeling of floating in mid-air, but also learn about the physics behind sky-diving through a lecture and first hand experience.
The iFly instructor first recorded the students’ estimations of the wind speed required to make various objects float in the flight chamber. Then he tossed and spun objects including a basketball, a gym ball, and a foam rocket in the chamber as a demonstration. After that, he detonated a water balloon in the flight chamber, evoking the students’ awestruck expressions when the snow-like water droplets suspended and drifted downwards in slow motion.
“I was very surprised and amazed,” sophomore Shivani Shalia said. “I didn’t expect the water droplets to behave like that in the flight chamber!”
The STEM Girls members also went to a physics lecture in which the instructor explained the inner structure of the flight chamber, details on how it allows large amounts of wind speed to enter the chamber and the explanation of how it makes indoor skydiving work. The participants then approached the most exciting part- experiencing indoor skydiving in the 150 mile per hour flight chamber.
“It was an exhilarating experience since it was my first time,” sophomore Tavisha Anand said. “I really want to try skydiving in the future so this is a great opportunity to let me experience the preview of real skydiving. The lecture was also very detailed and I get to know how the iFly building was specially structured for skydiving purposes.”
Aside from enriching the girls’ knowledge about the physics theory of how the flight chamber works, the iFly field trip also taught them something more important.
“There’s science everywhere,” Irvington’s STEM Girls advisor, Mr Fung, said. “Science is not only limited to labs, but it is also present in the real world. The iFly instructor John Boyce, who was in charge of the physics lecture, is actually a scientist. A scientist’s job does not limit to working in the lab, it could be anywhere.”
The STEM Girls club is planning to hold more field trips to tech-companies and university laboratories in order to give students who are interested in science, technology, mathematics and science a better understanding of different STEM related fields . They will be visiting the Tech Museum and decorating the Tech Museum park on Nov 22.