One of the regular features in the Sidcot Science calendar is our trip to a wind tunnel in Basingstoke where we can try indoor skydiving. This is an incredible experience where students can learn about how forces balance, airflow and temperature are controlled, and just how incredibly skillful the experience flyers are when they dance their aerial ballets.
Imagine a wind tunnel where you test aircraft or car components. Now turn the whole thing on its side, so that the 90 mph wind is blowing upwards.
An instructor stands alongside you and helps you relax into the “lazy starfish” position – and you realise that you’re flying. Not holding on to anything. Actually flying.
We arrived at the venue, booked in and had our first view of the tower. The pupils watched in amazement as the fliers swooped around just inches away from us, and kept asking: “Wow, are we really going to be doing that?”
Then we had a classroom session where we learned about how the tower operates and some of the physics behind free-fall flight. The students were keen to know all about it, and Liam, our instructor, was bombarded with questions! Then we put on suits, goggles, helmets and earplugs, and had the time of our lives defying gravity.
You’ll believe a student can fly!
Science Faculty: Physics