My son is representing his school for the UAV challenge(Unmanned Aerial Vehicle).
First he needed to design a parachute.. I gave him an old plastic table cloth I had used for one of the birthday parties..It was too thin, but would work if you folded it and glued two sides together and made it thicker. He needed to figure out what glue would work on plastic.. Then he needed to cut the glued piece in to a perfect circle.. He was attempting to draw a large circle.. Years ago, I had seen a caterer cutting a circle table cloth for a function by folding the fabric in to quarter and then drawing a quarter circle on it..) And I showed the trick to my son.. He was really impressed..
He wasn’t happy with the table cloth parachute.. so he went to the Thrift shop and bought a second hand Egyptian cotton bedsheet and made another parachute..
Last evening, he looked visibly upset.. and I learned that, he has a perfect parachute and a holder, but somehow the system he had designed is not working.. His parachute doesn’t deploy..
He is angry and upset.. and it is quiet natural to feel that way. I am sure he was expecting me to help him to figure out what is wrong.. I didn’t. I told him, the only way to find out what is wrong is to work out all the forces involved.. He needs to draw the diagram and calculate the forces and figure out where he is going wrong.. There has to be a reason why his design failed.. and it is his job to figure it out..After all, this is his project..
I did however cook his favourite tacos for dinner..
Now I feel terribly guilty.. If he and I work on it, I am sure we would find out the reason.. Was I not supposed to be the teacher?