Science Sunday: Flight
Birds, airplanes, helicopters, kites…these things all fly. While they are each designed differently (and vary greatly in terms of weight), the same physical forces are at work on all of them, allowing them to take off from the ground and move through the air without falling. Let’s learn more about physics and flight!
- Lift is one of the four forces of flight. What are the other three forces?
- What is the term when a bird stays aloft by holding out its wings but not flapping them?
- Why does having a beak instead of a nose, jaw, and teeth help a bird to fly?
- In what ways are bird bones different from human bones, and why does this help birds to fly?
- What does the pilot have to push to increase the power of the aircraft?
- To turn an airplane to the left or the right, the pilot uses the ailerons and ___________ ?
- Most large airplanes can fly at subsonic speed, slightly slower than the speed of sound. A few aircraft, including the space shuttle, are able to fly faster than the speed of sound. This is known as _________sonic and ___________sonic.
- In an airplane, the thrust of the engine moves the plane forward to generate lift. A helicopter works differently. In a helicopter, lift is achieved by the turning of the _________.
Read About It
How Birds Fly
DK Find Out – How Birds Fly: https://www.dkfindout.com/us/animals-and-nature/birds/how-birds-fly/
New Zealand Science Learning Hub: https://www.sciencelearn.org.nz/resources/303-how-birds-fly
Kids News: https://www.kidsnews.com.au/explainers/how-do-birds-fly-why-cant-humans-fly/news-story/a418a20ae53dbccf16d89aa647c2c10d
How Aircraft Fly
NASA’s Dynamics of Flight: https://www.grc.nasa.gov/www/k-12/UEET/StudentSite/dynamicsofflight.html
NASA’s What Is a Helicopter? https://www.nasa.gov/audience/forstudents/5-8/features/nasa-knows/what-is-a-helicopter-58.html
Watch & Learn
How Do Planes Fly: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wFTHh-6jIT8
How Do Birds Fly: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CJTp-QoamS0
How Do Kites Fly (+ instructions to make your own kite)(Montgomery County Library System): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PWm70j9npfc
Play & Learn
Experiments & Investigations
NASA “lift” and “drag” computer simulation program: https://www.grc.nasa.gov/WWW/K-12/airplane/foilsime.html
Additional free software from NASA to investigate rockets, jet engines, and kites: https://www.grc.nasa.gov/WWW/K-12/freesoftware_page.htm
Paper Airplane Experiments: https://www.foldnfly.com/lounge/distance.php
Paper Airplanes: https://www.hgtv.com/design/make-and-celebrate/handmade/how-to-make-a-paper-airplane
More Paper Airplanes: https://makercamp.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/07/W5D1.pdf
Space shuttle craft: https://iheartcraftythings.com/a-happy-homemade-space-shuttle-craft.html
Make your own Stomp Rocket: https://www.jpl.nasa.gov/edu/teach/activity/stomp-rockets/
Flying Birds: https://www.artistshelpingchildren.org/kidscraftsactivitiesblog/2012/03/how-to-make-a-flying-bird-decoration/
Origami Birds: https://www.origamiway.com/origami-birds.shtml
Dot to Dot:
Lesson Plans & Other Educational Resources
NASA’s Aeronautics lesson plans and experiments for young children: https://www.nasa.gov/sites/default/files/atoms/files/aero-prek.pdf