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Author Topic: Tell us about your Indoor FF Mentoring  (Read 374 times)
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bjt4888
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« on: October 13, 2020, 02:58:22 PM »

The NFFS Education Committee is interested in learning about your Indoor FF Mentoring (or, if you have an interest in mentoring).

Items of interest include: where you're located, how long you've been mentoring, events (ex. CLG, F1N, Limited Penny, Science Olympiad, etc.) and a general description of your program.

Thanks,

Brian T
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cglynn
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« Reply #1 on: October 15, 2020, 02:01:28 PM »

I teach high school science and have been fortunate enough to have been offered a position teaching aeromodeling as an extra curricular.  The major focus of my program is indoor duration flying.  The participating students meet twice a week for approx 60 mins after school.  Each meeting starts with a quick demonstration of a particular skill or how to build a certain part of a model.  I usually start with the wing and stab, then the prop, then fuse/motorstick, and lastly final assembly.  We try to get each part of the model built each session.  Models usually take around 4-5 weeks, working around 2 hours each week.  I have reserved Gym time once a month for participants to gather, fly, and test their creations.  The subsequent afterschool sessions are spent fixing, rebuilding, modifying, and improving previous models, and building models for other events.

The event progression I have been using is Double Whammy (flat wing/plastic prop/veggie bag covering) into Limited Penny Plane.  Some students opt to convert their DW to an LPP, others build their LPP from scratch.  The Banks and Gowen designs and their variants have been working very well for us.  Once they have built and flown the LPP, I feel that my students have the skillset to build and fly just about anything, and allow them to choose their event path.  Some stay focused on the LPP, while others try A6, F1L, and No-Cal.  I have had students express interest in F1D, but I have not had any build one as of yet. 

This is my 6th year running this program.  I have had students establish and break records in F1L and A6.  The Jr. A6 Cat 1 and 2, and Jr. F1L Cat 2 records are currently held by one of my participants.

We are located in the western suburbs of Cleveland, OH.
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bjt4888
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« Reply #2 on: October 16, 2020, 11:43:14 AM »

Cglynn,

Sounds like a great program. Students really enjoy seeing something that they made with their own hands fly, don't they.

I've been remiss in not offering a description of my program too. I'll get something written this afternoon.

Brian T.
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cglynn
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« Reply #3 on: October 16, 2020, 02:10:12 PM »

Brian,

It is indeed a great program.  I have noticed that many of my students treat it as an experience, rather than a commitment.  They will build their first model, test fly it in the cafeteria, (which is good for nothing, as the HVAC is always on in there...our gym sessions are much better as I can turn the HVAC off and models can fly in still-ish air) and then I never see them again.

I would say about 50% of my kids leave after their first model.  Those that make it to two models usually stick around for a couple of years. 

Unfortunately, I have had 0% of my students participate in indoor flying after they graduate.  I keep them apprised of our flying session dates, and allow them, as alumni, and other community members to join.  Non have returned.  Of course that could be because the majority of my students head to college, and building in a dorm room is not for the less than completely dedicated.  Perhaps after they graduate and establish themselves in their chosen career paths I will see them at an indoor meet.

Still, I would love to find a way to get some of my students to become life long indoor participants.

CG
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ceandra
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« Reply #4 on: December 04, 2020, 02:55:43 PM »

Brian is familiar with my mentoring exploits, but I thought I would record a note here.

I was recruited in 2015 to help a Home School team in Science Olympiad. I had no indoor experience (I fly R/C Pylon Racing), but I knew "airplanes".

My main thrust in the first year was to change the attitude of "build events always fail, something always goes wrong", to "build events are a known. Do the engineering and/or science, collect data, test a bunch, and you know what it will do". Things can still go wrong, but now my kids have an expectation to do it right.

That first year we build over a dozen models, starting with the basic flat wing in the SO tutorial. 2 weeks before Regionals, we were at 30 seconds and struggling. I came to Hip Pocket, and linked up with Brian. In those two weeks, we improved to 1:30 with some very basic "mentor the mentor" guidance, and then a month later got 1:50 at State, winning both contests. We then went on to Nationals. We met our goal of top 10 (7th I think), but awards were only to 6th place.

Since then, the flying events have been very competitive in our group. We start in September with a build the same week the rules come out. We base our models on Bill Gowen's Carbon Penny. We then hit the gym, typically 1 day a week for 2 hours. We have to rent the gym, so we try to make the most of each session.  We keep very detailed logs, which we have found is critical to success and improvement. We typically will build over 25 props in a year, as we have found prop design and rubber matching to be key to success.

In 2019, four of my kids took the challenge to compete at an AMA contest, and build Carbon Pennys. We went to Eager AZ in April 2019 and flew in LPP and F1M. Even I build one and competed. Josiah Rose came away with the win in F1M, and set a youth indoor AMA record. This really stoked the competitive juices.

IN 2018, Josiah and Brianna put in a TON of work (many builds, many nights flying) in helicopter. They are both VERY competitive kids, and nothing was going to stop them. They won the SO Nats Div C at Colorado State with their own design heli (almost every other entry was a FFM kit). At the same event, my mid schoolers won second in Wright Stuff, falling to Tower Heights by 7 hundredths of a second! In 2019, I had a 4-person Wright Stuff team, including Josiah, Brianna, and newcomers Monet and Anjulie. All four have that competitive juice, and worked hard. If all four were at practice, we flew both the primary and backup planes constantly to make the most of our time. Monet and Anjulie ended up flying at Nationals, and put on a 5:08 flight, about 45 seconds better than second place, and well over a minute better than third.

This all came about by a relentless testing and improvement program. These kids would fly anywhere, anytime, to get more data. They learned to change one variable at a time, and extrapolate results for their next try.

While still on the Nationals trip, several indoor flyers asked the kids to consider trying out for the US team. My trip was extended due to family and vacation, plus AMA pylon Nats, so I got home late July. I initially said there was no way, but the kids insisted. we reviewed the potential cost (assuming no fundraising), as well as time commitment, Three of the four were able to commit. I bought all the tools and materials needed, and with guidance form several top names we proceeded to build. These kids were at my kitchen table for 4-6 hours a day, 3-5 days a week, trying to beat the clock and get flying in time to qualify for team trials. We were learning new techniques together (rolled MS, Boron, OS film, etc.). The largest lesson was glue management. After a second heavy wing, one student proceeded to develop a test matrix with scrap wood and scrap covering to measure the mass added and the sticking power of the glue. We thinned our already thinned 3M77 another 90% to get the the ideal values. A wing gained 7-8mg when glue was applied, compared to 80mg when sprayed>

These kids all broke the prior Junior record at Lakehurst, and all three made the US Junior Team, along with Andrew Welter (PA, placed second at SO Nationals).

While in pandemic shutdown we have not yet flown in Romania, still waiting. But, the kids have built more LPP's, and lots more F1D's, perfecting their craft. Two are now building true F1M's, solely to take Josiah's record away! Together we are learning new techniques (carbon, VPP, etc.). We may develop techniques together, but once we have a path, they won't let me near. They want to complete everything themselves (as it should be).

in addition, siblings and Dads have now built P18's form Laser Cut, then LPP's, and are awaiting a facility to fly the LPP's. I think we have a dozen new LPP's ready to fly. I have done builds with these families in family units (2 or 3). I have learned that my advanced kids have learned so much that resetting to basics is hard. But putting in the time investment with the younger siblings will pay off when we next got to Lakehurst and build another US Junior Team.

This has been a HUGE investment of time, and could not have been accomplished without being retired. It also could not have been accomplished with "ordinary" kids. These kids are not of the "participation trophy" bunch, but cutthroat competitors. I do not know how to develop or locate these attitudes, I have been so fortunate to work with them. BTW, Josiah is in his first year in engineering at UT Dallas, on a full ride as a National Merit Finalist. Anjulie has bought a full set of tooling for F1D. These kids are staying in!

One key to this success has been "mentoring the mentor" I could NOT have done it without help that started right here on Hip Pocket with Brian, and input from many experts. In SO, this was primarily Brian, but also Dave Zeigler, Josh Finn, and Bill Gowen. IN F1D, we could not have done it without Brett Sanborn, Kang Lee, Dave Lindley, Mike Kirda, Tom Sova, and probably others.

It has been a whirlwind several years. But if I, and outdoor pylon racer, can do it, so can anyone that knows how to glue twos ticks together.

It is a HUGE commitment. As we drove back from Eager, with 4 kids flying LPP and two flying AMA Standard CLG, I realized that in 3 full days of flying I only got 3 flights myself. And yet, I had a bigger smile than I ever had in any contest where I was there just for myself! I am as sold as the kids are.

Chuck Andraka
"Coach Chuck"
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