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Beginner's Guide to Aerodynamics
Density and Lift

Subject Area: Physical Science

Grade Level: 6-8

National Science Standards:

  • Physical Science:
    • Motions and Forces.
    • Properties and changes of properties in matter.
  • Science and Technology:
    • Abilities of technological design.
    • Understandings about science and technology.

National Technology Standards:

  • Technology productivity tools: Use of content-specific tools, software and simulations (e.g., environmental probes, graphing calculators, exploratory environments, Web tools) to support learning and research; application of productivity/multimedia tools and peripherals to support personal productivity, group collaboration, and learning throughout the curriculum.
  • Technology research tools: Select and use appropriate tools and technology resources to accomplish a variety of tasks and solve problems.
  • Technology problem-solving and decision making tools: Application of productivity/multimedia tools and peripherals to support personal productivity group, collaboration, and learning throughout the curriculum.


After reading from a NASA Web-based textbook, you will demonstrate an understanding of the text by solving problems on density and predicting which density will give the most lift.

Beginner's Guide to Aerodynamics is a "textbook" of information prepared at NASA Glenn Research Center to help you better understand how airplanes work. Click Beginner's Guide Index to access the list of slides. Open the slide called Air Density and study the examples. Next, open the slide called Momentum Effects. Look at the very bottom of the page, noting how changes in density affect the lift. Then using the information shown at Airspeed Problems, complete the questions.


You, or you and your partner(s), will be evaluated on the accuracy or feasibility of your answers.


You will demonstrate the ability to use information found on the World Wide Web to solve problems involving density and lift.

Submitted by: Michele Kotick, The University of Akron, Akron, Ohio

Related Pages:
Lesson Index
Aerodynamics Index


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Editor: Tom Benson
NASA Official: Tom Benson
Last Updated: Thu, May 13 02:38:26 PM EDT 2021

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