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Lesson Title: Learning the "Wright" Way To Fly!
May 11, 2012

Unit: Engineering - Aeronautics

Grade Levels: 7-9

Connection To Curriculum: Forces and Motion; Transfer of Energy; and Science and Technology in Society

Teacher Prep Time: 1 hour

Lesson Time Needed: 2.5 hours

Complexity Moderate

Keywords: kite, forces of flight, Newton's laws, laws of motion

Materials:

Teacher Preparation Materials
Each of three kite templates (for identification and clarification of directions)
Stopwatch or some timing device (three for entire class)
Hole puncher (single)
The "Wright" Math Downloadable Video
Student Materials - One per three-student group and used for both activities
3 Sheets of 8.5- by 11-inch multipurpose paper
3 metric rulers
Masking tape
3 wooden skewer sticks per team (Wright Math activity)
3 kite string holders and kite string (often found as kit at discount stores)
2- by 200-cm kite tails (roll of survey tape works well)
Scissors
Two drinking straws per kite (sled kite activity)
 

Description
This lesson uses the online NASA CONNECT™: The "Wright" Math Educator Guide, the NASA Aeronautics Activity Guide and the Sled Kite activity to help students learn how the Wright brothers developed controllable aircraft by understanding, constructing and testing different designs.

Objectives
Students will:
• Construct three different kite models and predict the most effective design.
• Design and test an aircraft given several parameters.
• Explain how early flight was influenced by kites.


First page of Learning The

Lesson Guide
Learning the Wright Way To Fly! Lesson
[101KB PDF file]

 

 

Professional Development Training Module for This Lesson

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› Launch Wright Way to Fly Part 1 Training Module  →
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› Launch Wright Way to Fly Part 2 Training Module  →
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Lesson Activities and Sequence
The listed sequence leads students to better understand how the Wright Brothers used engineering design to understand how to control flight.

  1. Engineering the Sled Kite
    Students construct and fly the basic sled kite design to understand the forces of flight and how kites were used to better understand aircraft control.
    • Download the sled kite activity from the NASA Aeronautics activity guide.
    • Ask students to build a simple sled kit and demonstrate how a kite illustrates the four forces of flight by testing.
    Keywords: kite, forces of flight, Newton's laws, laws of motion

  2. NASA CONNECT™: The "Wright" Math
    Students construct and predict which design will be the most effective flyer. They then test three different designs and gather time data to verify their prediction. They learn how the Wright Brothers used kites to understand aircraft control.
    • Download the "Wright" Math Video and NASA CONNECT™: The "Wright" Math activity guide.
    • Show the introduction to NASA CONNECT™: The "Wright" Math.
    • Review each of the three "Wright" Math kite templates and ask the students to predict the best performer.
    • Instruct the students to select and construct the one that they believe will be the best flyer.
    • Conduct timed flight tests outside and gather flight data.
    Keywords: kite, forces of flight, Newton's laws, laws of motion

National Standards:

National Science Education Standards, NSTA
Physical Science
• Motions and forces.
• Transfer of energy.
Science and Technology
• Abilities of technological design.
• Science and technology in society.
History and Nature of Science
• History of Science.

ISTE NETS and Performance Indicators for Students, ISTE
Creativity and Innovation
• Use models and simulations to explore complex systems and issues.
• Develop an understanding of the core concepts of technology.
Communication and Collaboration
• Contribute to project teams to produce original works or solve problems.
• Develop an understanding of engineering design.
Research and Information Fluency
• Evaluate and select information sources and digital tools based on the appropriateness to specific tasks.
• Process data and report results.
Technology Operations and Concepts
• Understand and use technology systems.
• Troubleshoot systems and applications influenced by kites.

 

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Page Last Updated: July 28th, 2013
Page Editor: NASA Administrator