Your students can make a mini helicopter using just paper and paper clips. This activity from the Exploratorium includes a template you an print out, full directions, "what's going on" explanation, and a fun game.
Bird's eye view of flight
For everyone who's dreamed of flying like a bird, here's what it would look like. Taken in the French Alps around Chamonix.
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According to the site's creator, George Bartan, the site initially was to be an example of how can you motivate children to learn science through aviation technology. In time, it became a guide in using project based and interdisciplinary learning. Education topics include History, Art and Sports.
The list of aviation related hobbies can be a great resource for low cost, in-class project ideas.
No, UEET is not some strange South American bird. It's NASA's Ultra Efficient Engine Technology. These Kid's Pages were developed by NASA during the Centennial of Flight Celebration to introduce elementary grade students to aerospace engineering.
This resource includes lesson plans, Parts of an Airplane, games, how airplanes fly, and more, all aimed at elementary students.
In the early days of flight, getting to Hawaii, one of the most remote places on Earth, was a challenge. Hawaii by Air, an on-line exhibit from the National Air And Space Museum, recounts the early challenges and how things have changed since then.
Since 1992, the Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA) has been giving kids ages 8-17 the opportunity to fly in a small airplane at no cost to them, introducing them to the experience and science of flying.
Check with your local EAA chapter or pass this resource on to interested students.
Young Eagles at EAA Chapter 1093
EAA Chapter 1093 at the Midland Barstow Airport in Michigan created this video to describe how EAA's Young Eagle Program works.
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Dog Goes Weightless
Think you need a NASA sized budget to experience weightlessness? As you can see from this fun video, all you need is a personal airplane and the right parabolic trajectory.
No animals were hurt in the making of this video.
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How do they simulate weightlessness without escaping the gravitational pull of the Earth?
To experience a free fall safely, an aircraft climbs at a steep angle, levels off, and then dives, creating a path called a parabolic arc. Those inside the aircraft experience about 30 seconds of weightlessness without leaving the Earth's atmosphere. Learn the details in this resource.
The Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum has a complete on-line collection of planes (and space craft) with pictures and descriptions of over 356 aircraft. For a details about the Wright Brothers' inventions see Inventing Flight. Students can compare their own problem-solving to the Wrights.