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STEM encourages kids to experiment, make mistakes, and learn from their experiences. The projects we will do in STEM Club are not only fun but will increase the critical thinking and logical analysis skills of participants, instilling in them a lifelong passion for learning.
September’s STEM Club activity will be Cup Gliders (Magnus Effect).
Newton’s Third Law of Motion states that every action has an equal and opposite reaction. During launch, the rubber band forces the cups forward… with a backspin! The backspin pushes the thin layer of air around the cups down. As the air around the cups is pushed down, the cups are forced up!
This phenomenon known as the “Magnus effect” is what baseball pitchers use to make curveballs curve! By varying the direction and rate of spin of a pitched ball, a pitcher can create a variety of wildly veering pitches: curveballs, fastballs, screwballs, and sliders. The MLB season may be coming to an end, but October 7th marks the start of the MLB playoffs where we will be able to see the magnus effect in action.