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Flying High into the Sky with Math and Science

Break out from the winter blahs and cabin fever. Transform your schoolyard into a launch pad. Experiment with aerodynamics, Newton’s Laws, and the Bernoulli principle. Then, have your students create geometric kites and sleek paper airplanes. Measure distances; determine the best flying designs and why they were successful. Capture your aeronautical experiences with a digital camera or camcorder and report the news to other schools, parents, and the community.

Kites

20 Kids * 20 Kites * 20 Minutes

The Big Wind Kite Factory on the island of Moloka'i in Hawaii provides students with a list of materials, directions, and illustrations to ensure success. Photos of variations and children flying kites are also included. Feedback from teachers offers insight and suggestions for kite making and flying.

Kites as an Educational Tool

Is Kite flying really 2000 years old? Find the answer to that question along with a wealth of information from sample designs and kite names to the math and science behind kite flying. Professor Kite provides information about the best flying days, a pre-launch checklist, acrobatic sport kites, and how to get a variety of kites to fly. Photos of student creations supply ideas for your own projects. Kites as an Educational Tool is a great starting point.

Kite Lessons

Kite Flying

This is a complete lesson on kite flying for all age levels. Science concepts, objectives, overview, vocabulary, teacher text, preparation, and teaching time make this a ready to use lesson for students. The how to build a kite section contains a short video clip of students demonstrating the process. An assessment rubric is also provided. This is a great site for the busy teacher.

Kites in the Classroom

An educational rationale for using kites in the classroom illustrates how content areas are integrated in the kite making process. The technological impact of kites and suggestions on how kites add value to learning are included in this extensive resource for teaching kite making in the classroom.

Paper Airplanes

Amazing Paper Airplanes

It doesn’t matter whether you are a beginner or a seasoned paper airplane pilot; there are plenty of patterns with folding instructions. Choose from the basic dart to the more complex Falcon or pick an unusual design like the Blue Angels. Information and a photograph are provided about each of the representative planes. In addition, there is a wonderful gallery of paper airplane models.

Fly’N Things – Amazing Paper Airplanes

Download models to print out, build, and fly. The assortment includes eight planes from WW II and one modern fighter. The designs are more complex to build and thus, more suited for older students. A brief history of paper airplanes, general directions, and building tips are also available.

Joseph Palmer’s Paper Airplanes

Four planes with illustrated folding instructions are presented. All of the planes are constructed from a single 8 ½” x 11” sheet of paper and designed to fly without any cutting, tape, or weights. This is a nice source for patterns.

Ken Blackburn’s Paper Airplanes

Ken Blackburn holds the Guinness record for time aloft for paper airplanes. At his site, he shares information about aerodynamics and patterns from his viewers. He has also written several books on the subject that are linked to amazon.com for purchase.

National Paper Airplane Contest

Start a Paper Airplane Contest in your school and prove just how far and how long your airplanes can fly. It's a fun way to learn about aerodynamics! Scholastic provides the framework for your project, including a list of resource books and Websites.

Paper Airplanes

Another great starting point can be found at the Exploratorium. Students can transform a single sheet of paper into a paper airplane. Then learn about concepts such as kinetic energy, gravity, and lift. After this lesson, they will have greater appreciation for the properties of paper.

Paper Airplane Lessons.

Where to Buy Kites and Paper Airplanes

Flying Toys

Shop at Flying Toys to find toys and gifts for pilots of all ages! Find a large selection of airplanes, paper airplanes, balsa gliders, foam gliders, Frisbees, boomerangs, rockets, helicopters, gifts, aviation project kits and so much more at Flying Toys.

Fun with Wind

Fun with Wind is part of WebAxis Enterprises and has been in business since 1983. They provide a large selection of brand name kites, spinners, and banners. Prices range from $3.89 and up.

Into the Wind

Purchase traditional and stunt kites from this company. Prices range from $3.99 and up.
Ordering is easy online or offline. The sections, Kites 101 and Resources, are bonus features of the site with loads of facts.

If I Could Fly Lesson

Originally Published Mar/Apr 2006

Updated March 14, 2015
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