‘The opposite of aerodynamics’
EDWARDS ” Berry Creek Middle School students know what they like.-
Michael Moser, who teaches the EAGLE program for the gifted and talented, decided to let his students choose their own topics to study.
They choose everything from holograms to confetti cannons.
Seventh grader Christoph Niederhauser and eighth grader Eric Spry are currently working on the structure and function of a dam.
“We chose our idea because we wanted to make an example of structural technology,” Spry said. “Dams are able to hold and withstand amazing amounts of pressure and we want to know why and how this is possible.”
“EAGLE has helped us by providing tools and time to challenge our thinking skills,” Niederhauser added.
On the other side of the room, eighth grader Jake Robertson is busy designing and building a surfboard.
“I just got done spending the whole summer surfing in San Diego at Beacon’s on a shortboard made by a friend who makes custom boards,” Robertson said. “When I came back to the valley my mind was set to surfing. That’s all I could think about. So when I needed to figure out an independent project for my EAGLE class I thought why not build a new board.”
Building a surfboard is a several-step process. “You need to be able to follow directions or you’ll really screw it up,” Robertson said.
“I’m learning about shaping a blank to make it perform better in the water,” he said. “It is kind of the opposite of aerodynamics. I have to shape the board to allow the water to go under it where a wing is designed to have the air move over it.”
Robertson is currently working on a small model, but would love a mentor to help him with a full-size board. He said the EAGLE program forces him to use his entire brain.
“It makes me think about things like math and art and put them together to make something real,” he said. “In the EAGLE program I get a chance to try to do things that I never thought I’d be able to outside of school or even in school.”
Sixth graders Haille Hogfeldt and Bailey Garton are learning about mega-tsunamis.
“We chose our project first because we wanted to explore natural disasters, thought about tsunamis and found mega-tsunamis which are bigger and behave differently,” Garton said.-
Mega-tsunamis can be over 300 feet high, and could destroy entire cities, Hogfeldt said.
“We have learned that the wave has to break or else it will only flood the area,” Hogfeldt said. “At first, we couldn’t get our simulated waves to break and we used rocks to make the water shallower as it nears land in our model.
“We have realized that the model must have an abrupt ‘beach’ to make the wave break as it is supposed to do,” she said.
Through experimentation, the students discovered that when the landslide hits the water creating the tsunami, it must hit the water abruptly or it won’t make any waves at all.