Wind tunnels, flight simulations and a presentation by the designer of the world’s record paper airplane were some of the ways Fresno Pacific University’s Engineering in the K-8 Classroom Festival helped area educators work STEM principles to their elementary and middle-school students.

The event took place June 18-22, 2018, on the main FPU campus, 1717 S. Chestnut Ave., Fresno, and in the facilities of AIMS Center for Science and Math Education. Teachers gained experience in various STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) topics and innovative classroom curriculum. The emphasis was on the engineering and cross-cutting education standards, with instruction in creating lessons with wind tunnels (a project teachers and students can build together) and structural engineering using paper models and flight simulation.

The 12 participants designed wings and tested them for structural integrity and using a tabletop wind tunnel, flew in FPU’s student-oriented flight simulator and examined structural engineering concepts through actual construction projects and paper-folding techniques. Jon Collins, who holds the world record for longest flight of a hand-powered paper airplane, demonstrated ideas from fluid mechanics and tested his design in our wind tunnel.