Unit: Engineering - Aeronautics
Grade Levels: 7-9
Connection To Curriculum: Science, Mathematics and Technology
Teacher Prep Time: 1 hours
Lesson Time Needed: 1 hours
Keywords: Newton's Laws of Motion, forces of flight, lift, drag, thrust, engineering design process, kites
Computer lab with teaching computer and projector
Simulator software installed on individual computers
Computer lab with Web access to The Beginner's Guide to Aeronautics website
Students perform a series of simulations to explore the theory and practice of flight.
• Explore the theory and practice of flight using Web-based and downloadable computer simulation programs from The Beginner's Guide to Aeronautics website.
• Conduct experiments using a simulation.
• Apply input variables into a simulation.
• Analyze the graphical interpretations of a simulation.
Beginners Guide to Aeronautics Lesson
[262KB PDF file]
Professional Development Training Module for This Lesson
› Beginner's Guide to Aeronautics training module →
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Lesson Activities and Sequence
- FoilSim III Simulator program: With this software you can investigate how an aircraft wing produces lift and drag by changing the values of different factors that affect lift and the factors that affect drag.
- AtmosModeler Simulator program: With this software you can investigate changes in the atmosphere and its effects on aerodynamic variables.
- Interactive Sound Waves Simulator program: With this software you can investigate how sound waves travel through the air.
- EngineSim Simulator program: With this software you can investigate how a jet (or turbine) engine produces thrust by interactively changing the values of different engine parameters.
- Wright 1901 Wind Tunnel Simulator program: With this software you can investigate exactly the same way that the Wright Brothers' 1901 wind tunnel worked.
- TunnelSys Simulatorprogram: With this software you can investigate the design, testing and post-processing of a wing model in a wind tunnel.
- Hit Modeler Simulator program: With this software, you can study how far a baseball will travel after it is hit by a bat by changing the values of the factors that affect the aerodynamic forces on the ball. These are the same forces that generate the drag of an aircraft wing.
- Curveball Simulator program: With this software you can study how a big league pitcher throws a curveball by changing the values of the factors that affect the aerodynamic forces on the ball. Values include the pitch speed, wind and weather conditions. These are the same forces that generate the lift of an aircraft wing.
- Soccer NASA Simulator program: With this software you can study how a soccer player "bends" the ball and makes it curve through the air by changing the values of the factors that affect the aerodynamic forces on the ball. Factors include the speed of the kick, the direction and angle and the weather conditions. These are the same factors that affect the lift and drag on an aircraft wing.
Keywords: airfoil, FoilSim, engine, wind tunnel, soccer, baseball, sound waves, online simulators, simulators, computer-based
Science as Inquiry
• Understanding of scientific concepts.
• An appreciation of "how we know" what we know in science.
• Understanding of the nature of science.
• Skills necessary to become independent inquirers about the natural world.
• The dispositions to use the skills, abilities and attitudes associated with science.
• Position and motion of objects.
• Motions and forces.
Science and Technology
• Abilities of technological design.
• Understanding about science and technology.
Common Core State Standards for Mathematics, NCTM
Operations and Algebraic Thinking
• Use the four operations with whole numbers to solve problems.
• Generate and analyze patterns.
• Write and interpret numerical expressions.
• Analyze patterns and relationships.
ISTE NETS and Performance Indicators for Students, ISTE
Creativity and Innovation
• Apply existing knowledge to generate new ideas, products or processes.
• Use models and simulations to explore complex systems and issues.
• Identify trends and forecast possibilities.
Communication and Collaboration
• Interact, collaborate and publish with peers, experts or others employing a variety of digital environments and media.
• Communicate information and ideas effectively to multiple audiences using a variety of media and formats.
• Contribute to project teams to produce original works or solve problems.
Research and Information Fluency
• Plan strategies to guide inquiry.
• Locate, organize, analyze, evaluate, synthesize and ethically use information from a variety of sources and media.
• Evaluate and select information sources and digital tools based on the appropriateness to specific tasks.
• Process data and report results.
Critical Thinking, Problem Solving and Decision Making
• Identify and define authentic problems and significant questions for investigation.
• Plan and manage activities to develop a solution or complete a project.
• Collect and analyze data to identify solutions and/or make informed decisions.
• Use multiple processes and diverse perspectives to explore alternative solutions.
• Advocate and practice safe, legal and responsible use of information and technology.
• Exhibit a positive attitude toward using technology that supports collaboration, learning and productivity.
• Demonstrate personal responsibility for lifelong learning.
• Exhibit leadership for digital citizenship.
Technology Operations and Concepts
• Understand and use technology systems.
• Select and use applications effectively and productively.
• Troubleshoot systems and applications.
• Transfer current knowledge to learning of new technologies.