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Fun With Bernoulli

paper planesStudents in grades 5 to 7 use Bernoulli’s principle to manipulate air pressure in a series of fun activities so its influence can be seen on the objects around us.

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Build a Bobsled Racer

bobsled on track Teams of students in grades 3 to 8 learn about friction, forces, and the engineering design process by building and testing miniature bobsleds to see which can race down an icy slope either the fastest or slowest.

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Activity: Straw-Rocket Aeronautics

straw rocketIn this short fun activity, students of all ages learn about rocket stability by constructing and flying small “indoor” paper rockets, then analyzing flight data and interpreting the results.

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Lesson: How High Can You Fly?

JumpIn this lesson, you’ll introduce your students to the four forces of flight–drag, lift, thrust, and weight–through a variety of fun-filled flight experiments. Students will “fly” for short periods and then evaluate factors that might either increase or decrease their “flight” duration.

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Lesson: Get a Lift!

Flight DiagramIn this lesson, you’ll introduce your students to the four forces of flight — drag, lift, thrust, and weight — through a variety of fun flight experiments. Students will “fly” for short periods and then evaluate factors that might either increase or decrease their “flight” duration. They also will discover how air moving at different speeds over a wing keeps planes aloft.

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Web Resources: Rockets for Schools

Rockets for SchoolsThe Great Lakes Spaceport Education Foundation, Inc.’s Rockets for Schools program allows students to experience the excitement of building-high power rockets, coordinating a rocket launch and working hands-on with industry professionals. This program is open to students of varied socio-economic backgrounds in grades 6-12 from a five state area in the Midwest. Rockets for Schools 2010 is scheduled for Friday, May 7th and Saturday, May 8th in Sheboygan, Wisconsin.

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Lesson: Harnessing Wind

This 50-minute lesson for grades 3-5 introduces the ways that engineers study and harness the wind. Students will learn about the different kinds of winds and how to measure wind direction; how air pressure creates winds, and how engineers build and test wind turbines to harness energy from wind. A separate activity, Bubble-ology, introduces students to aerodynamics by challenging them to devise the best ways to keep a bubble aloft.

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Activity: Fly a Paper Helicopter

In this activity for grades 1 to 6, students create a paper flyer that moves like the blades of a helicopter. They learn how changing the helicopter’s shape or weight affects its flight and explore how air resistance changes the way an object falls.

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Lesson: Design a Parachute

Students create a parachute using different materials they think will work best. They test their designs then join a class discussion and possible journal writing to evaluate which paper material worked best.

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