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Lesson Title: Air Foils
May 11, 2012

Unit: Physical Science - Aeronautics

Grade Levels: 4-6

Connection To Curriculum: Science, Mathematics and Technology

Teacher Prep Time: 2 hours

Lesson Time Needed: 2 hours

Complexity: Moderate

Keywords: airfoils, wings, flight, smart skies, space math, x plane, wright, propulsion, forces of flight, Bernoulli


  Desk fan
  Wooden block (length of protractor)
  50 cm stiff wire
  Six 10-cm pieces of yarn
  Thin cardboard 11 by 31 cm
  Small nail
  Drill (optional)
  Science journal

Learn how an airfoil creates lift.

Students will:
• Investigate how an airfoil creates lift.
• Design an airfoil.
• Construct a model of an airfoil from materials provided.
• Observe how their airfoil operates using a fan to provide.

First page of Air Foils

Lesson Guide
Air Foils Lesson
[80KB PDF file]



Lesson Activities and Sequence
The NASA "Why" Files: The Case of the Challenging Flight
Construct an airfoil and test different angles of attack. (page 21)
Keywords: airfoil, forces of flight, Bernoulli's principle, lift

National Standards:

National Science Education Standards, NSTA
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.

Physical Science
• Properties and changes of properties in matter.
• Motions and forces.
• Transfer of energy.

Science and Technology
• Abilities of technological design.
• Understanding about science and technology.

History and Nature of Science
• Science as a human endeavor.

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.
• Analyze patterns and relationships.
• Write and interpret numerical expressions.

ISTE NETS and Performance Indicators for Students, ISTE
Creativity and Innovation
• Create original works as a means of personal or group expression.
• Use models and simulations to explore complex systems and issues.

Communication and Collaboration
• Contribute to project teams to produce original works or solve problems.

Research and Information Fluency
• Plan strategies to guide inquiry.
• 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.

Technology Operations and Concepts
• Understand and use technology systems.
• Select and use applications effectively and productively.
• Troubleshoot systems and applications.


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