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Engineering Flight

12 Favorites 7 Copies (view)
Design +8 Age Levels Primary (5 to 8 years old), Elementary (9 to 12 years old), Middle School (13 to 15 years old), High School (16 to 18 years old)

This is a master collection designed to be copied and adapted to your individual classroom needs. Included are three scalable student activities that teach students engineering skills using methods similar to those that made the Wright brothers pioneers of aviation. Feel free to pick and choose from the activities in creating your own collections:

1. The Four Forces of Flight

In this student activity, students will briefly go over the four forces of flight (lift, drag, weight, and thrust) and put them to the test in the Paper Airplane Challenge! This activity is suitable for Primary/Intermediate grade levels.

2. Engineering the Wright Way

The second student activity is an online interactive, "Engineering the Wright Way"*, where students will develop engineering skills to design and test all the different components of an airplane based on the the Wrights' methodology. Students can write down a save code generated in the interactive to store their progress and return to finish the activity later. This activity is suitable for Intermediate/Middle grade levels.

3. Take a Wright Flight

The third student activity is an online flight simulator to learn three controls of flight: yaw, pitch, and roll. The final segment is an online interactive** to test fly the original Wright Flyer in conditions similar to that cold December morning when the Wrights first achieved flight, using direct 3D scans of the original Wright Flyer made by the Smithsonian. This activity is suitable for all grades.


*The "Engineering the Wright Way" lesson plan and activity were created by the National Air and Space Museum, courtesy of the Alcoa Foundation.

**The Wright Brothers Flyer activity was created by the Smithsonian Center for Learning and Digital Access.

This is one of 5 activities used in the Lenovo Week of Service event.