Forces Theme: Does It Fly?
Your mission is
to design something that will fly. Try to show two things in your design,
lift and speed. Think of how birds use their wings to fly. Think of how
early inventors tried to make "lighter than air" flying machines.
Your teacher will supply you with a variety of materials.
Remember you need to demonstrate two principles:
TEACHING HINTS FOR DOES IT FLY?
The purpose of this brief is to give students the basic principles of flight (lift and speed), and to give them an overview of the history of air and space flight.
Materials for This Activity: (Optional)
Paper, various weights and sizes
Measuring devises, rulers or tape measures
Illustrations of several "flying machines"
Suggestions for Implementation:
1. Preparation. This design brief generates a lot of students' participation and enthusiasm. You need gather only a few flying essentials such as paper and pencils.
2. Orientation. Introduce this activity
by reviewing the history of flight. Remind your students that all "flying
machines," no matter how old or new, must use two basic principles of flight--lift
and speed. Share books, photos,
posters, and models of "flying machines." Discuss the advantages and disadvantages of each design.
3. Organize Groups. Students may work together in small groups of two or alone, if they prefer. Give students a copy of "Does It Fly." Encourage students to design their "flier" first in their mission log, before trying to make a model.
4. Finding Out. Encourage students to investigate different design possibilities by visiting the library to look for books on fliers. The more flier designs they are exposed to, the less likely they are to limit themselves to just one design.
5. Problem Solving. Restate the problem. Students are to design something that will fly. Does everyone understand what they are to do? Has everyone explored different design possibilities? Is everyone ready to use several designs in solving the problem, "Does It Fly?"
6. Try It Out. Students draft many
different designs on paperbefore they use materials to construct a new
design. Even then, students may have to go back to the drawing board to
modifications in their model to make sure it flies.
7. Experimentation. When students are ready to "test run" their fliers, allow them to fly indoors and outdoors. After each trial run, encourage them to verbalize how well their model demonstrated the principles of lift and speed.
8. Collaboration. Assign students to a partner. Have each groupfly their airplanes with each of the other groups until the ideal flier is left. Discuss how the principles of lift and speed were incorporated into this design to make it fly the farthest.
Enhancing Other Concepts and Skills:
1.Library Research Skills. Trace the
"History of Flight" usinglibrary books and NASA information. Construct
a timeline ofmomentas events in flight history such as DeVinci's designs,
Montgolfier Brothers' hot-air balloon, Wright Brothers' poweredaircraft, Lindberg's transatlantic flight, Earhart'saround-the-world flight, Yeager's faster-than-the-speed-of-sound machine, the Sputnik satellite, and NASA's Explorer, Apollo,Voyager, and Skylab Missions.
2. Communication Skills Assign cooperative-learning
groups,consisting of three to four students, to research one of the important
events in the history of air and space flight. Have
each group report their finding to the class.
3. Math Bar graph the number of trial
runs on the horizonal axis and the distance traveled on the vertical axis
to give students an accurate graph of their flier results. Discuss what
4. Language Extensions. Inventing fliers
can lead to imaginativecompositions. Read students The Glorious Flight.
Have students imagine they are Lois Bleriot, the Wright Brothers or Amelia
Earheart. Have them give a written account of their famousflight entitled, My Glorious Flight.
5. Social Studies. When students use
their fliers outdoors,first have them check on the weather conditions.
Discuss theeffects of climate, seasonal changes, and geographic locations
flying. Elicit why the Wright Brothers chose Kitty Hawk, NorthCarolina as their flying site rather than a place in their native Michigan? Do some locations offer better wind conditions, more
flight time, and flatter surfaces that promote flying? How does your playground rate on these three flying factors? (Poor, Good,