Students at the Sarasota School of Arts and Sciences are designing and building Leonardo Da Vinci flying machines. They will test the projects Friday, June 4.
Carlos Hernandez, teacher and head of the science department
What is this project?
We are incorporating physical science by designing a flying machine. There will be three levels — a parachute, a machine and helicopter top. We’re launching it tomorrow.
Is this your first time building one?
I’ve never made one.
Haley Coulter and Grace Gordon
What inspired this design?
Haley: We’re making a Hershey kiss-shaped glider and right now we’re building the skeleton.
Had you previously studied flying machines?
Grace: We have a packet that tells us about Leonardo Da Vinci’s flying machines.
How will it work?
Haley: We’re going to take construction paper and put it over the top of the skeleton and hopefully it will glide down.
Grace: We’re going to put a baby doll inside. We want the wings to curl up like bat wings and have the bottom stay straight.
What’s the next step?
Haley: We are building it to day and tomorrow we will see whose stays in the air the longest.
Are you optimistic?
Grace: I think it will work, but I don’t know about the longest. We haven’t had any trouble building it yet.
Did you name your machine?
Grace: The SS-KISS. We had a choice of whatever we wanted to build.
What have you learned about Da Vinci?
Grace: It surprised me how much he knew about flying just from watching birds and bats, so it’s kind of cool to put yourself in his shoes for a while.
Spencer Verheul and Raymond DeCamillis
What are you building?
Spencer: This is one of Da Vinci’s helicopers — we’re just modifying it. Instead of one layer where the blades spin, we are going to have two different ones.
How will it work?
Raymond: The blades can’t be flat. They have to be curved at a 45-degree angle to help it stay up. We need multiple sets of blades because one set doesn’t hold up as well as others.
Spencer: Half of the stuff we wanted to use isn’t here, so we had to change the design.
How will the tissue paper help the machine fly?
Raymond: It will help float and is going to act like a parachute. We have blades on the bottom to hold it up.
You obviously have the most colorful project in the class — what is it?
It’s my version of Da Vinci’s parachute.
How did you design it?
I had to build a vent on top because it brings in air. It’s heavy. I don’t think it’s going to float the longest.
How long did it take to build?
About 30 minutes.
Davia Banks and Logan Gow
What kind of flying machine did you build?
Davia: It’s an ornicopter.
Why did you choose this design?
Davia: It looks cool, it’s hard and we both like stuff that’s challenging. I researched online for images.
Logan: We both really like challenges.
What is the goal of this project?
Davia: To see whose stays in the air the longest. We think ours has a good chance because it won’t be that heavy. Air will get trapped into it and help it stay up.
What are you working on right now?
Logan: I’m trying to build the base using a rubber band and propeller.
Have you learned anything about Da Vinci from this project?
Davia: He was a great artist.
Logan: He had a crazy but good mind.
Contact Loren Mayo at email@example.com.