The activities in this guide help students learn the basic principles of flight. The guide is divided into three chapters:

--Air. --Flight. --We Can Fly, You and I.

The end of each chapter has a list of simple interdisciplinary activities for all elementary subjects.

To download the complete Educator's Guide, click here.

Collection Contents


The title page, table of contents, acknowledgments, preface and "how to use this guide" make up this section of the Aeronautics Educator Guide. The introductory materials are part of the Aeronautics Educator Guide.
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The lesson plans and activities in the Aeronautics Educator Guide correlate to national science and mathematics standards. The matrix charts show the standards and science process skills that apply to each activity.
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This section of the Aeronautics Educator Guide contains a brief history of aeronautics.
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In this activity, students will do the following: --Observe how unequal pressure creates power. --Explain that air power can help airplanes fly. --Construct a working model of an air engine. This activity challenges students to build and demonstrate a source of thrust found in some research aircraft -- the rocket engine. A straw represents the fuselage and a balloon represents the aircraft engine.
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Although air is present in the room with other matter, a visual aid is necessary for an observer to "see" that air occupies a portion of space. In this experiment, a plastic cup containing both air and a crumpled napkin is turned upside down and placed into a container of water. Air and water cannot occupy the same space at the same time; therefore, the napkin remains dry.
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Students blow through a hole made in a paper bag mask and over the curved surface of the "tongue." Unequal air pressure will cause the tongue to lift. This action provides an example of Bernoulli's principle.
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In this activity, students construct and use a simple windsock to measure wind direction and speed.
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These activities help students learn about air, not only in science class, but in math, fine arts, technology, social studies, language arts, and health and physical education.
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In this activity, students work in groups to build working models of hot air balloons using plastic bags.
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In this activity, students build a sled kite that models a type of airfoil called a parawing. The parawing depends on the movement of air over its shape to generate a lifting force. Students keep a journal on the behavior of the kite when variables are changed.
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This activity challenges students to learn about basic aircraft design and explore the effects of weight and balance on the flight characteristics of a model glider. Students use science process skills to construct and fly a glider made from a foam food tray.
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Airplanes with conventional wings use ailerons to control roll (left and right motion), a rudder to control yaw (left or right movement of the nose), and elevators to control pitch (up and down movement of the nose). Airplanes with delta- or triangular-shaped wings have a rudder, but only one control surface, an elevon to control pitch and roll. An elevon serves the same function as an elevator and an aileron. This activity challenges students to control the flight path of a delta wing glider and to explore the effects of changing the positions of the elevons on a model glider. Students use science process skills to construct and fly a glider made from a foam food tray.
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Helicopters are rotary-wing aircraft: The wing surface is rotated through the air to produce lift. In this activity, students make paper models that imitate the rotation of the rotor blades of a helicopter. Using tape from an audio or videocassette, students determine the number of rotations of the model as it falls through the air.
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These activities help students learn the basics of flight, not only in science class, but in math, fine arts, technology, social studies, language arts, and health and physical education.
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Students use drawings and models to build an aviation timeline. Students use the timeline to visualize the numerous changes that have occurred in the history of flight. In this activity, students do the following: --Identify and research aviation events. --Create a timeline of aviation events. --Analyze the information to interpret changes in aviation. --Develop a presentation based on historical events in aviation.
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Pilots use compasses to determine direction when flying airplanes. In this activity, students build simple compasses using household materials.
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Students construct a model airport to identify and understand problems that face architects and planners of real airports. Models allow planners to identify potential problems with airport location, layout and design before expensive construction begins.
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Airplane pilots depend on flight plans to provide information to help ensure a successful flight to a destination. In this activity, students create a flight plan and determine factors such as departure airport, destination airport, flight route and flying time in hours. Students role play the communication of flight plans between pilot and air traffic controller using the phonetic alphabet.
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These activities help students learn about airports and the air traffic system, not only in science class, but in math, fine arts, technology, social studies, language arts, and health and physical education.
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This page diagrams and labels parts of the XB-70A research aircraft and T-34C Support Aircraft.
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The glossary features a list of terms used in aeronautics and aviation. The glossary also includes drawings of NASA's Wingless Research Aircraft.
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