Students explore the fundamentals of flight by assembling and experimenting with a hangar full of flying machines. Before they "take off", students investigate the properties of air, especially that air exerts pressure. Then they build parachutes, kites, and hot-air balloons to demonstrate air resistance, wind speed and angle, and lighter-than-air flight. Paper airplane trials prove that shape determines flight path and duration. Next, students discover how the airfoil design of both fixed wings and helicopter rotors creates lift. They construct propeller-driven and simulated jet vehicles to explore plane power, and they learn to control flight by adding ailerons, elevators, and rudders to gliders. Students cap off the unit by building and launching fuel-powered model rockets.
In the Delta Science Reader Flight and Rocketry, students read about the two types of flight, gliding flight and true flight. They learn about both lighter-than-air flight and heavier-than-air flight and about different types of flying machines, from parachutes and airships to jets and spacecraft. They find out about the forces at work in flight and how Bernoulli's principle explains lift. They are also introduced to the Wright brothers, who made the airplane that flew the first powered, controlled flight. Finally, students learn about milestones in the history of flight.
Click here to view the Teacher Preparation Video for this Delta Science Module.