Theme: Let's Fly -- Aeronautics
Activity Description Time Required STEM Field(s) Recommended for 1 Day Event
Fly-By Math Conduct an experiment to figure out the mathematics needed to land planes safely. 1-3 hrs M  
Rotor Motor Make a paper helicopter and calculate the number of rotations as it falls. 1 hr SM  √ 
Sled Kite Build a sled kite that models a type of airfoil called a parawing. 1-1.5 hrs SE  
Bag Balloon Build working models of hot air balloons using plastic bags. 2 hrs SE  √ 
Future Flight Equation  → Design, construct and test an experimental wing to achieve maximum distance using a portable glider catapult. 2-3 hrs STEM  √ 
The Wright Math  → Build a kite and use mathematics to calculate how area affects lift.   SM  
Proportionality: The X-Plane Generation  → To demonstrate scale models as engineering tools, students build scale models of an X plane, calculate scale factor and determine cargo capacity. 2 hrs TEM  
Ring Wing Glider  → Build a glider model that demonstrates unconventional design of aircraft. 0.5 hr E  √ 
Four Wing Boomerang Build and fly a paper four-wing boomerang to answer the question: Will this work in space? 1 hr SE  √ 
Space Shuttle Glider Fact Sheet Build a flyable glider model to learn the parts of the space shuttle. 0.5-1 hr STE  √ 
Lift Experiment Determine how the size of a wing affects lift. [Case of the Challenging Flight p. 17] 1 hr SE  
Air Foils Demonstrate how an airfoil creates lift using a paper model and fan. [Case of the Challenging Flight p. 21] 1 hr SM  
Bernoulli and More Bernoulli Six simple and quick experiments to demonstrate the bernoulli effect. [Case of the Challenging Flight p. 28] 0.5-1 hr S  √ 
Fluttering Fun, Point of Balance Determine an object's center of gravity and how to change it. [Case of the Challenging Flight p. 41] 0.5 hr SE  
Four Forces of Flight Board game that helps students learn the terms associated with flight. [Case of the Challenging Flight p. 61] 1-1.5 hrs SE  
Rocket Wind Tunnel Build a wind tunnel that students can use to test the aerodynamics of planes. 2 hrs STEM  
Newton Car Measure how far a car rolls in response to the action force generated. 1-2 hrs SM  
Air Engines Construct a working model of an air engine to observe how unequal pressure creates power. 1 hr SM  √ 
Vectoring Discover how vectoring the thrust from a jet engine affects movement of an airplane. 0.5 hr E  √ 
Jet Propulsion Discover how a jet engine takes in air, compresses it and burns fuel to make air expand. 1 hr STEM  √ 
The Opposing Forces of Thrust and Drag Conduct several simple experiments to illustrate the effects of gravity and Newton's laws on the forces affecting flight. [Courage to Soar p. 194] 2 hrs SM  √ 
Controlling the Plane Build and test a straw plane and experiment with design to achieve the best test flight. [The Courage to Soar p. 227, activities 20 and 21] 2 hrs SM  √ 
Mars Pathfinder Egg Drop Students make and test an egg drop container similar to NASA's Mars rover lander. 1 hr SE  √ 
Other Resources        
Beginners Guide to Aeronautics Series of simulations to explore the theory and practice of flight. 1-3 hrs STE computer
Future Flight Design Virtual Design Studio for experimenting with aircraft design 1-2 hrs STE computer

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