Educator Features

Future Flight Design
Cartoon of two kids standing next to a futuristic airplane
Future Flight Design is a web-based, interactive, problem-based learning environment where middle school students learn about forces of flight and design air transportation and aircraft systems of the future. Biographies highlight careers in aeronautics and aerospace engineering.

Image to right: Revise the skies with NASA's Future Flight Design! Credit: NASA

This website employs two engaging and interesting scenarios in which students become NASA researchers to 1) develop a futuristic air transportation system through a research-based problem, and 2) design a new aircraft using online multimedia. A downloadable educator guide includes a student log that helps guide the student through the activities. All activities meet National Science and Technology Education Standards.

Future Flight Design uses aeronautics and aviation content, problem based-learning, the engineering design process, and critical thinking skills to increase awareness of NASA careers and to educate students in grades 5-8 on the design of capacity solutions for a future air transportation system.

Future Flight Design is composed of two problems: Air Transportation Problem and Aircraft Design Problem. The Introduction Movie presents the overall problem of increasing airport delays due to an increasing demand on the current system. This movie, featured below, provides the overall purpose and motivation for the two problems. Each problem includes an educator Guide, Student Log, and online resources. The Air Transportation Problem includes numerous movie clips and online articles to assist students in researching solutions to the problem. The Aircraft Design Problem includes interactive multimedia activities in which students simulate the design and testing of a new aircraft while exploring instructional animations in the online labs to better understand the results of their design choices. Occasional live, online challenges on NASA Quest will allow students the opportunity to connect with and receive feedback from NASA engineers working on the same problems.

A cartoon image of the outside of an airport Image to left: This video talks about the overall problem of increasing airport delays due to an increasing demand on the current system. Credit: NASA
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Related Resources
Future Flight Design Home Page
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NASA Quest
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NASA Challenges Students to Design for the Future of Flight
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