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Orange County Focus

VILLA PARK : Students Share Flight Knowledge

June 06, 1992|TERRY SPENCER

For eight months, a Compton model airplane club came to Anaheim to teach a group of Magnolia High School students the principles of flight.

On Friday, two of those students visited a third-grade class at Serrano Elementary School here to pass on a bit of what they had learned, helping the youngsters create entries for a paper airplane contest.

"Isn't it amazing how knowledge gets passed on from place to place?" teacher Cathi Budd said. "The Compton Tailspinners (model plane club) passed on their knowledge and it will just keep moving. My class works with a kindergarten class, and next week they'll pass some of this on to the kindergartners."

The visit Friday was part of the school's annual weeklong Science Olympiad, which included events such as frog-jumping and designing cushions onto which eggs could be dropped from 6 to 12 feet.

In Budd's class, Magnolia seniors Jimmy Chu and Jason Megens had the students rapt as they used an award-winning model plane they helped design to demonstrate how flaps on the wings and tail control direction.

The plane, which uses a propane engine, defeated a plane designed by Savanna High School students in a flying competition two weeks ago.

Handing the plane's remote control over to the students, Megens held the three-foot-long aircraft aloft with its engine off.

The students used the control to maneuver the flaps while Megens moved it up, down and to the side to simulate how the plane would react if airborne.

The students were then given sheets of paper and, with Megens' and Chu's help, made paper airplanes while learning aeronautical principles that would help keep the models aloft, such as placing a paper clip on the nose to help give it momentum.

Even when recess came, about 20 of Budd's 31 students stayed inside to pepper Chu and Megens with questions.

When class resumed, the students were led outside, where they competed to see whose paper plane could fly farthest.

Those that incorporated the Magnolia students' suggestions of using a paper clip on the nose sailed far beyond the others.

"This was neat because I didn't really understand how a plane worked before (Chu and Megens) came," said Nicole Tryon, 9. "Now I know how they turn."

"I liked how they let us work their plane's controls," said Shannon Hooten, also 9.

Megens, 17, said he was impressed with the youngsters' enthusiasm and that they grasped what was taught.

He, too, reflected on how that knowledge had moved from Compton to Anaheim to Villa Park.

"I guess this knowledge is going to go everywhere," he said. "It's great that these kids will get to spread it a little more."

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