Ever Fly a Tetrahedron?by: Kenneth King

Journal Article

Few things capture the spirit of spring like flying a kite. Watching a kite dance and sail across a cloud-spotted sky is not only a visually appealing experience, it also provides a foundation for studies in science and mathematics. In this kite-building and flying activity, students use inexpensive and readily-available materials to construct a simple tetrahedron kite, then design an experiment to test how changing one variable in the kite's design affects its performance.

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  • on Wed Mar 20, 2013 7:58 PM

This article offers templates for the design of kites as well as content background on the drag and lift forces that act on a kite. The force analysis involves vectors but even young children could do scale diagrams and learn to resolve forces on a flying kite to form a foundation for deeper knowledge. The article is valuable as a tool for a teacher wanting to design a STEM project based on flying kites. Teacher notes and materials lists are extensive and this is a project that could be done relatively inexpensively. If video and a video analysis program are available, students could extend their questioning and gather and analyze data for deeper understanding. This article offers an open-ended approach for many levels of science

Patricia  (Arlington, VA)
Patricia (Arlington, VA)

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