Walking on sunshine?

17 January 2017

Teachers from the Bristol South Ogden Partnership recently got together to build their very own hovercrafts to use in physics lessons. They may not have been walking on sunshine, but they were floating on air.

Often when learning about forces and friction students get to build mini hovercrafts from a balloon and an old CD; but these ones, made from MDF and powered by a leaf blower, are big enough to seat a person and carry them comfortably across the floor on a cushion of air!

Bristol South Partnership Hovercraft CPD
Teachers get hands-on at a hovercraft CPD session for the Bristol South Partnership

After sanding the edges of the pre-cut wood, a sheet of rubber pond-liner was carefully glued, then nailed into place. The all-important holes were then made in the bottom of rubber and after attaching the leaf-blower, the hovercraft was ready to go...

The organiser, Emma Haspineal, said "It's brilliant to be able to make something so practical that we can use in the classroom and which will really engage students. I'm sure it's going to get a lot of use and be great fun to teach with!". 

The event was hosted at Ashton Park School, Bristol and led by Kevin Betts (a previous IOP Teacher of Physics Award winner). The schools now looking forward to putting their hovercraft into action are Bedminster Down, Ashton Park, Churchill Academy and Bridge Learning Campus.

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