Aerodynamics Teacher Resources

Find Aerodynamics educational ideas and activities

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Young scholars explore physical education by completing a quiz in class. In this engineering lesson, students identify different ways engineering has made sports safer such as stronger padding and helmets, stronger equipment and smarter techniques. Young scholars research a specific piece of equipment and share their findings with the class before completing a quiz and several worksheets.
Students study the basics of parachuting.  In this flight and aerodynamics lesson students make a simple parachute and investigate different variables that can cause potential problems.
Students calculate frictional force after examining the different types of friction and drag. Using a box, basket, and weights, they collect friction data and measure a coefficient of static friction. In teams, they answer questions based on the lesson.
Students research aerodynamics using Web sites provided by the teacher. Working in groups, they design paper airplanes, test them, and choose a final plane to fly against the other groups. They graph flight results using a spreadsheet program.
Students read an explanation from the NASA Web-based "textbook", The Beginner's Guide to Aerodynamics, then use the information in combination with data from other Web sites to solve single variable equations for distance (range), time, and velo
Students experiment with the principles in aerodynamics as they are challenged to keep a bubble aloft as long as possible. They apply their observations to the aerodynamics used in airplane technology.
Students investigate Bernoulli's Principle as they examine forces that influence a body in flight. They build simple aerodynamic designs and observe the reaction of these designs in flight..
Students observe falling objects. They discover the rate of falling is based on air resistance and not the weight of the objects. They discuss how engineers use this type of information to design aerodynamic shapes.
Students read a textbook about aerodynamics. They find out the definition of Mach number. They complete problems designed to demonstrate their ability to solve Mach number equations.
Students build a simple wind tunnel and test out 2 glider wing shapes at different angles of attack. They record their observations and results just as engineers do. There also is a "virtual wind tunnel" they can try to test aerodynamic stability.
Students investigate how a spinning paper tube generates lift as it travels forward.
Young scholars investigate the physics of flight through various experiments. In this physics lesson, students construct different flying objects. They explain the dynamics that make these object fly.
Students, after reading an explanation from a NASA Web-based textbook, you demonstrate an understanding of the text by applying it to questions involving the theories of how a wing produces lift.
Students investigate and demonstrate how aerodynamic downforce is more important than drag reduction in automobile racing. They research to find data about the quality of speed and performance in auto racing since aerodynamic downforce has been a focus.
Young scholars, after reading an explanation from a NASA Web-based textbook, demonstrate an understanding of the text by applying it to the calculation of area, velocity, and pressure in a wind tunnel.
As the cost of oil continues to rise and the environmental impacts of emissions become more widespread, the demand for alternative energy sources for cars is huge. In an engaging and challenging week-long lesson, your upper-elementary or middle schoolers are transformed into mechanical engineers as they design and build solar powered cars. If you live in an area that doesn't get much sun, it may be best to do this activity when you have the best chance of clear skies so the cars can be tested outside. Cover multiple Next Generation Science Standards, as well as Common Core literacy standards in a fun and exciting way.
One of the factors that automotive engineers must consider is wind drag. The less wind drag, the more efficient the car will be. They perform many tests in wind tunnels, then refine their designs and test again. Using simple materials, transform your middle and high schoolers into designers and engineers as they work together to create their own low-drag cars, then test them in a class wind tunnel. To adapt this to the Next Generation Science Standards, have teams compare their results then work together to create the most efficient design possible. 
What a thrilling job for an engineer: designing advanced athletic competition suits! Which materials can most reduce friction and drag, and yet still be flexible enough to move with the athlete's body? With attention focused on Shani Davis, a gold-medal winner for speed skating in previous Olympic Games and hopeful for the Sochi 2014 games, viewers see all of the places that friction needs to be reduced. This would make a terrific enhancement to your physical science or engineering class, and it could inspire your class to pursue a career in engineering for sports.
Using NASA's planet fact sheets, collaborative groups discuss what the basic needs are for a human to survive, and how likely he would be to survive on another planet. Assign each group a different planet and have them compare its statistics to those of Earth. They also read and discuss a New York Times article about the 1999 launch of the Mars Polar Lander and the Mars Climate Orbiter.
Here is a fabulous collection of lessons for your emerging meteorologists! In them, learners will utilize satellite data to determine distribution of rainfall, research global rainfall patterns, and utilize their knowledge to propose new instruments and satellite missions that can help us understand the changes in the earth's climate. Some fantastic worksheets, weblinks, and other educational resources are embedded in an incredibly detailed and exciting lesson plan.

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