It Really Is Rocket Science Part 1



This lesson introduces students to the science of aerodynamics and the scientific principles behind flight. Students explore the concepts of lift, drag, thrust, and gravity and apply them by making and flying paper airplanes. Bernoulli's Principle comes to life as students examine the shape of an airplane wing and learn how to levitate a ping pong all with a hair blow dryer.

Lesson Time

100 Minutes

Industries / Subjects / Grades

Industries / Pathways
  • Engineering & Architecture Engineering & Architecture
    • Engineering Design
Grade Levels
  • 8
  • 9
  • 10

Standards and Objectives


California Academic Content Standards (1)
California's 2008 CTE Standards (2)

Related Instructional Objectives (SWBAT...)

  • Students will demonstrate knowledge of how historical and current events have relevance to engineering design by describing how the science of aerodynamics has influenced the design of airplane wings.
  • Students will identify the scientific principles behind flight by describing the various forces at work, including gravity, lift, drag, and thrust, as they fly their self-produced paper airplanes.
  • Students will demonstrate understanding of technological advances by describing how Bernoulli's Principle applies to various objects such as chimneys and atomizers.

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