- Dryden Flight Research Center
- Physical Science
- Exploring Engineering and Technology
- 05 - 08
- 030 min(s)
- 050 min(s)
Have you ever wondered how aeronautics evolved past the imitation of birds?
“Why can birds fly and we can’t?” People living as far back in time as the cave dwellers asked this same question as they watched birds swoop and soar. The desire to challenge gravity and experience the freedom of flight made early attempts of understanding the mysteries of flight possible. The early cave dwellers discovered fire, and ironically, this discovery would play a large role in our first flight. Fire and flight changed the way we lived forever.
Learners will Create (individually or as a group) a timeline of the history of flight using pictures and short summaries that chronicle the events in the history of flight.
Learners will understand the principles of flight, obtain a historical perspective of flight, and recognize the different types of aircraft.
Learners will design model paper airplanes based on prior knowledge of how to make paper airplanes fly.
Learners will identify aspects of flight control and the four forces of flight.
Learners will relate the principles of flight to their paper airplane design.
Learners will explain Bernoulli’s Principle as it relates to flight and synthesize a rationale for a new (improved) paper airplane design.
Sequence of Events
Students will create (individually or as a group) a timeline of the history of flight using pictures and short summaries that chronicle the events in the history of flight that led to the first manned flight and beyond. This can be accomplished using paper/pencil/poster board or it can be done digitally using www.Timerime.com.
Lunar Lander Research Vehicle LLRV
X-43A Hyper X
Conventional Jet Engine
Unmanned Aircraft Vehicle-UAV
Students in grades 5-8 will participate in a hands-on activity called “Designed for Fight” in which students will design and fly a paper airplane. The module coordinator will provide the instructions and an example for this activity. The coordinator will then provide students with an interactive PowerPoint presentation that engages the students in the principles of flight, the history of flight and its evolution, the axes of flight, flight control, and the four forces of flight. Specific NASA centers may be highlighted throughout the event based on its contribution to flight and flight research. The students will then be given opportunities to re-design their airplanes based on their gained knowledge regarding flight throughout the event.
Please download the "Designed for Flight" Paper Airplane file for the activity.
National Standards: NSTA Science Content Standards
SCIENCE AS INQUIRY CONTENT STANDARD A:
• Abilities necessary to do scientific inquiry
• Understanding scientific inquiry
PHYSICAL SCIENCE CONTENT STANDARD B:
• Motion and Forces
SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY CONTENT STANDARD E:
• Understanding about Science and technology
• Abilities of technological design
SCIENCE IN PERSONAL AND SOCIAL PERSPECTIVES CONTENT STANDARD F:
• Science and technology in Society