Flying Seeds

18-11-2008

baloon beed

I hurried to class IV  today anxious to see what kinds of seeds( (see activity on ‘flying seeds’ in class IV book, Unit: II, Air) the students might have made…but I was disappointed…the activity was not done. I understand that the ‘flying seeds’ experiment is quite a space demanding task and may require some space to carry out in the classroom …but they could still carry out the task at home, bring the designs to school and discuss what they found

Anyway, I tried out a few designs myself with some Jowar seeds. First, I set a Jowar seed on the floor and switched on the fan  at high speed… the seed did not budge.

I tried out three designs to try make it fly under the same conditions:

  1. A Glider design: I attached my seed on a triangular piece of paper. Then I switched on the fan in high speed and found that the paper was able to drag the seed around.
  2. A balloon design: I blew a balloon up and tried a thread to it. I attached pieces of paper on the thread and attached jowar seeds on them. The balloon flew around even at low fan speed.
  3. A cottony design: I attached a tuft of cotton on my seed with glue and found out that the seed blew around quite a bit.

I then browsed the net to look at what nature’s designs are…I came across this wonderful website: http://waynesword.palomar.edu/plfeb99.htm#flutter

This website classifies seeds into Gliders, Parachutes, Helicopters, Flutterers, Spinners, Cottony seeds and other categories. The only design of mine that did not correspond to a natural design was the baloon design…I must say I am rather humbled by the sheer range and aesthetics of natural designs …

 Aswathy raveendran

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