Text Size
Lesson Title: Fluttering Fun, Point of Balance
May 11, 2012

Unit: Physical Science - Aeronautics

Grade Levels: 4-6

Connection To Curriculum: Science, Mathematics and Technology

Teacher Prep Time: 1 hour

Lesson Time Needed: 1 hour

Complexity Basic

Keywords: center of gravity, weight and balance


Butterfly pattern
Construction paper
Pencil with a flat eraser
Modeling clay
Paper clips
Science journal

To learn an object's center of gravity and how it can be changed.

Students will:
• Investigate the concept of center of gravity.
• Determine the center of gravity of a two-dimensional object by balancing it on the top of a pencil.
• Change the center of gravity of a two-dimensional object by adding paper clips and balancing it on the top of a pencil.

First page of Fluttering Fun

Lesson Guide
Fluttering Fun Lesson
[106KB PDF file]



Professional Development Training Module for This Lesson

Blue button with an arrow

› Fluttering Fun, Point of Balance training module  →
Note: Module may take a few minutes to load.
download arrow icon Download Video

Blue button with ? mark

› Help me! I can't see the training module.

Lesson Activities and Sequence
The NASA "Why?" Files: The Case of the Challenging Flight
Determine the center of gravity for the butterfly pattern.
Keywords: center of gravity, weight and balance

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
• 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.


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