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"Re-living The Wright Way"

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Invention Process

Researched Flight

Tested Theories

Flight Control

Test Pilot Skills

Propulsion System

First Flight

Flight Development

Pushing Envelope

Wilbur Wright Bio

Orville Wright Bio

Lesson Plans






1900 - Aircraft

1901 - Aircraft

1902 - Aircraft

Powered Aircraft

1903 - Wright Flyer

1904 - Aircraft

1905 - Aircraft

Flight Control

Wing Warping

1901 - Wind Tunnel


Learning to Fly - Grades 6-10
This activity book presents several activities built around the discovery process used by the Wright brothers. There is a role playing game in which the student observes the Wrights' activities and has to report on the student's findings. There are plans for the construction of models of the first four Wright aircraft. There are lots of math problems to work on as well. This activity book was developed by a team in the NASA Glenn Office of Educational Programs.

Flying Model of the Wright Brothers' 1902 Aircraft - Grades 6-10
This activity presents step-by-step instructions for building a flying scale model of the Wright brothers' 1902 aircraft using balsa wood and tissue paper. This activity was developed by Richard Glueck of the Orono Middle School, Orono, Maine. It requires minimum model making skills and introduces the ideas of scaling and following directions. Photographs detail the design process. The models can be used as part of a science fair project, or used in a diorama to further stimulate creativity.

Models of the Wright Brothers' Aircraft - Grades 6-10
This activity presents plans and step-by-step instructions for building scale models of the Wright brothers aircraft from 1900 to 1903 using readily available materials (foam meat trays and toothpicks). The activity was developed by Roger Storm of Fairview Park High School during a summer intern session at NASA Glenn. It requires minimum model making skills and introduces the ideas of scaling and following directions. It prompts the student to investigate the invention process. The models can be used as part of a science fair project, modified with rigging, or used in a diorama to further stimulate creativity.

Wright 1901 Wind Tunnel Simulation - Grades 6-10
This activity presents instructions for using a computer simulation of the Wright 1901 wind tunnel to teach students some of the basics of scientific experiments and test techniques. This activity was developed by Tom Benson of the NASA Glenn Research Center. It requires a personal computer with Internet access. The activities can be run on-line or downloaded to run off-line. Students will learn to conduct parametric studies, to record and reduce data, prepare graphs, and interpret results.

Teamwork in Aerospace - Grades 6-12
This activity presents instructions and slides for a teamwork activity built around aerospace. Groups of students form small companies to design and test fly paper airplanes in a competition to produce aircraft for NASA. The activity was developed by Tom Benson at the NASA Glenn Research Center. It requires a minimum of supplies; 8 1/2 x 11 paper, scissors, tape and paper clips and it introduces the students to many of the problems one encounters while working on a team. The activity takes about 1 hour to perform.

Smoke Tunnel Plans - Grades 9-12
This activity presents step-by-step instructions for building a flow visualization (smoke) wind tunnel. This activity was developed by Dwayne Hunt and Carol Galica of the NASA Glenn Research Center. It requires moderate shop skills with hand tools, but less than $100 worth of materials. Photographs detail the construction process. The tunnel can be used as part of a science fair project, or used to study how air flows past a variety of models.

Additional Activities
Program Description URL Grade
Aeronautics Kidspage This website is designed to help children learn about aeronautics, with an emphasis on aircraft engines. Lesson plans on the history, dynamics, and propulsion of airplanes are provided. K- 6
  2003 Wright Brothers Game  
Aeronautics Learning Laboratory for Science Technology (ALLSTAR) Lesson plans and experiments on the Principles of Aviation, Aerospace, and The History of Aeronautics are available on this website. Clearly established levels of understanding for different 'and age-ranges are a strength of this site. 6-14
Aerospace Education Services Program (AESP) The AESP enhances awareness and understanding of scientific and technology advances growing out of NASA's mission of research, discovery, and exploration. NASA provides assistance and support in updating science, math, geography, and technology curricula by utilizing new and evolving instructional technologies and teaching strategies. K-16
Beginners Guide to Propulsion This interactive website serves as a guide to how jet engines work. Activities, data, and engine simulations are available for teachers and students. K-16
Consider a Career in Aerospace Poster The Consider a Career in Aerospace Poster encourages young women to pursue careers in math, science, engineering, and technology. It provides information and activities that relate past, present, and future careers in aerospace. K-12
Earth-to-Orbit Engineering Design Challenge This program presents junior high school students with some of the same aeronautical and engineering design chK-16enges faced by NASA scientists today. Students work together to design, build, test, and redesign models that meet specific criteria to counteract common engineering difficulties. 6-9
Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA) The Experimental Aircraft Association offers a wide variety of opportunities for teacher and students interested in building or modeling their own airplanes. K-16
Exploring Program The Exploring Program is a division of The Boy scouts of America, which provides students with career exploration opportunities focused on engineering, computer science, and aviation Ages
Exploring the Extreme Poster The F-15 Active is an aircraft used by NASA to explore the extreme limits of aerospace technology. This poster includes activities for measuring the angles of wings and tails of the F-15 and several other airplanes.
General Aviation Design Competition This NASA sponsored design competition provides university students throughout the country with an opportunity to explore the latest developments in smK-16 aircraft transport, design, and technology systems. '13-16
High Speed Civil Transport Download and assemble a model of the Supersonic HSCT airplane. Get current information on advanced aircraft, and aeronautics programs and developments. K-16
K-8 Aeronautics Internet Textbook Numerous lesson plans, demonstrations, activities and information on aerospace careers are available. Detailed information on the Wright Brother's Flight Process, including journal entries, are also featured. K- 8
KAAMS The KAAMS teacher website supplies problem based learning opportunities that get students involved in authentic aeronautics-based remote-sensing missions conducted by NASA scientists. 6-9
Learning Technologies Project This project helps integrate NASA research and technology into the K-14 curriculum through web-based resources, computer simulations, and videoconferences. Many ready-made lesson plans, activities, and experiments that deal with the science of aerodynamics are available. K-14
NASA Connect NASA Connect is an award winning series of instructional television programs that are proven to capture the imagination of elementary and middle school students. This program establishes connections between NASA research and math, science, aeronautics, and technology content taught in the classroom. 5-8
NASA Education Workshops (NEW) NEW provide educators with an opportunity to observe state-of-the-art research and development while directly interacting with experts at a NASA Field Center. K-16 educators
NASA Explores This website features weekly educational activities and updates on cutting edge research and development for elementary, middle, and high school students. Each week two new articles on aeronautics technology with lesson plans and adapted activities are featured. K-12
NASA Quest Aero Design Team This resource K-16ows teachers and students to see NASA employees performing aeronautics design and research in wind tunnels and flight simulators. Hear from NASA engineers as they design safer, more efficient, quieter, and faster airplanes. K-16
NASA Quest's Women of NASA The Women of NASA is intended for young women to pursue careers in math and science. The materials provide profiles of successful women, and the opportunity to participate in interactive events. K-16
Plane Math This interactive website, designed for children with physical disabilities, contains activities relating math to aeronautics. K-4
The NASA Science Files The Science Files are an educational television program designed to enhance and enrich the teaching of math and science in '3-5. This program deals with numerous topics related to aviation, aerospace, science, technology, and math. 3-5
The Wright Brothers Posters This pair of posters includes "The Process of Invention" and "Innovation Through Flight". Both posters showcase the vital role that engineering has played in human progress. K-12
The Wright Way Learn about the development of the first manned, powered flight from its conception through research and experimentation, to success and beyond. This website features facts, lesson plans, simulations, activities, and contains information on how to participate in the Centennial of Flight Celebration. K-12
Tools of The Trade Poster This poster features research aircraft, and contains hands-on activities for building and experimenting with basic wing/tail canard configurations
Virtual Skies This interactive website, designed to teach decision making and problem-solving skills, guides students through an exploration of the world of aeronautics. Learn the principles of flight, flight planning, see large wind tunnels in operation, consider career options, and more. 9-12
Wind Tunnel Teacher's Guide The major parts of a wind tunnel are described, and animation is used to demonstrate how they operate. This guide provides a classroom activity in which a teacher can design their own wind tunnel.

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Editor: Tom Benson
NASA Official: Tom Benson
Last Updated: Thu, Jun 12 05:10:22 PM EDT 2014

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