Manna Moment- Working for the lord
Colossians 3:23-24- "Whatever you do , work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the inheritance as your reward. You are serving the Lord Christ."
It is not possible to know the true motives behind the Wright brothers determination to discover and invent a heavier-than-air flying machine that can be controlled and sustained. However, it is possible to know the 'why' you do certain things or why you are interested in certain things.
Paul tells the Colossians to do everything for the Lord and serve Him. So if you are doing your least favorite subject in school-do it well for the Lord, or are having to do your least favorite chore, do it well, with diligence for the Lord. Jesus' rewards are greater than any rewards we could receive here on earth and they are worth the effort and diligence a hundred times over. Jesus is better!
Rubber band Powered Flyer
Some students love to build things and others prefer not to so I made this activity optional. Plus, this requires glue to set overnight which makes it impossible to accomplish during class.
Here are some pictures of my son and I building and flying a rubber band flyer. I built one by myself over the summer to test it out. It didn't work as well as I wanted it to so I changed some things to see what would happen in my students flyers.
In my opinion, the latest version works better.
I substituted the balsa wood which is very trendy and fun for just some simple compressed cardboard to make the flyer lighter. I also reduced the size of the fuselage by half making it lighter as well.
Instead of using a long rubber band, I chose to use two shorter rubber bands which seems to add more thrust.
Here is how we did it:
These are the materials we used including the Glue All that works just fine for this project.
The pattern to cut out the wings and stabilizers is in the Mysteries of Flight Student Guidebook. For my students, we went ahead and glued the craft stick end to the fuselage.
We started with the fun part; placing the plastic propeller on the craft stick in the front of the fuselage.
Then, we glued the wings to the fuselage.
My son enjoyed using his finger to smear the glue to match the width of the wings that he was gluing.
Here, he is trying to make sure that he places his wings in the middle so that each side is of equal length.
After applying the wings to the glue of the fuselage, we added some weight to it so that there would be a consistent amount of pressure while the glue dried.
Then we waited a while for the glue to dry before we affixed the horizontal stabilizer and the vertical rudder.
After securing the horizontal stabilizer, we let it sit for a little bit. We then glued the vertical rudder to the stabilizer.
After all the pieces that were glued were able to sit all night to set, we measured by the rubber band where the eyelet should go in order to use it for the power.
Here is where the rubber band reached to so this is where you take a small screw and place it through the eyelet to secure it to the fuselage
This is what your finished flyer should look like.
.After you finish your flyer, you can wind up the rubber band and see what it does. It is wise to let go of the propeller one second before you thrust it out of your hands. The flight seems to turn out better when the propeller has a second to acclimate.
We played cooperative jeopardy as our final exam today. The students all worked together to answer questions and together acquired a pile of candy. I had assigned a certain type of candy to each category that they answered. For instance: 100 questions received candy pumpkins, 200 questions received bite size snickers etc.
At the end of the game, we divided up the candy and if there were extras students had to answer more questions to get the candy.
It was fun AND we reviewed the information from these past 12 weeks!!! Win Win!
Mysteries of flight Curriculum
Here is this 12 lesson bundle for sale for $40.00 on our TpT page. This is 12 Lessons that are full of investigations and information about flight and how Orville and Wilbur Wright invented Heavier-Than- Air Flight.
Manna Moment- Freedom from fear
"The LORD Himself goes before you and will be with you; He will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; Do not be discouraged."
After the Wright Brothers were able to control flight in a glider, they then aded an engine. They had to build their own engine too. Then they had to fly with this homemade engine. If engines malfunction, explosions and loss of life can occur. This is scary. However, when we put our trust in Jesus, our Savior, we no longer need to fear death- we have been freed from every fear on earth. We now only need to fear God, the Creator of this world who made all the laws that govern it. He tells the Israelites in Deuteronomy to not be afraid for He has gone before them and He will be with them. If you have confessed and repented from your sin, accepted Jesus as your Savior, then Jesus too, will go before you, preparing the path you are to travel. He will be with you as you travel so you do not need to fear.
Should the LORD call you to do something that has never been done, be assured He has already been there to prepare the way. If you find yourself in a difficult situation, God was in it and there before you got to it AND He is with you through it. Orville Wright climbed into that homemade airplane, engine, wings, propeller and all. I do not know whether He trusted the LORD yet if he didn't and he still made the decision to try it, how much more confident can we be to trust an all- knowing God with our lives and future.
the wright catapult
The Wright brothers found a place closer to home to test their Wright Flyers. Huffman's Prairie was located near the trolley stop and was a perfect location. They were allowed to use the land with permission. One of the differences between this area and Kitty Hawk was the lack of wind speed. The Flyer needed to get up to 27mph or a minimum flying speed in order to take off. Since the prairie was not smooth and the wind changed directions so frequently, they built a Wright Catapult that would give the Wright Flyers enough thrust to get them into the air without having to wait on the wind.
To find out more about this Wright Catapult, here is a great website with detailed pictures and information.
Now that all the pieces of the Wright Flyer were there, they now had to learn how to fly and control all three axes of motion using the controls they invented. They had numerous crashes in 1905 learning how to control the Flyer in the air.
Eventually, they were able to fly 24.5 miles in 39 minutes and it was at this point they were confident that they had invented "the world's first power driven, heavier-than-air machine in which man made free, controlled and sustained flight.."
Jet engines and Balloon Racers
The jet engines that we use today use fans to pull air through the front of the engine. Fuel is released into the engine and is ignited. The heat from ignition causes the air to expand and push out of the back of the engine creating thrust. This moving air forces the plane forward.
When you see streams of 'clouds' in the sky following a plane, these are called contrails and they happen when the hot humid air from the engine meets the cooler air of the sky.
During class, we did a balloon racer investigation.
Our guiding question was 'how does the amount of air in the balloon affect the speed of the balloon racer?
The students made their hypothesis and then we built and tested our racers. Would the balloon move faster or slower with more air?
The way we chose to measure the amount of air within the balloon was using a flexible measuring tape that a seamstress would use to measure a waist for a dress. After they inflated their balloon, the students would measure the circumference and then document the time and distance. Using those numbers they would divide the distance by the time to calculate the speed of the balloon.
We did as many trials as we could in order to test our hypothesis.
Hebrews 10:24-25- "And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another- and all the more as you see the Day approaching."
What is the purpose of a propeller on a plane? To provide thrust, that pushes forward. In helicopters, they actually provide the lift to get the helicopter into the air. We can be propellers for others on their journeys. We are called to 'spur one another on' and to 'encourage one another.' We can do this by saying a kind word, offering to help, or working together. Let us propel each other on toward love and good deeds as we meet together to serve one another. Our God is a God of relationship. He has never been alone. He has always been in continuous harmony and unity with God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit. Because God made us in His image, we were created to need relationship and others. Again I say, let us encourage each other daily, propelling each other on to love and good deeds.
The Wright brothers perseverance couldn't run out just yet. While they were excited to add power to their successful glider, their assumptions of that being easy were quickly changed. They had assumed that because propellers had been used for over 75 years, there would surely be a design that would work for them. Nope. There were absolutely no formulas or tables on propellers. Ship makers were designing propellers on a trial and error basis so Wilbur and Orville would have to design their own.
By 1902, more engines were being built for horseless carriages, however, no automobile company wanted to build a custom engine for the Wright brothers so they would also be building their own engine for their flyer as well.
Their perseverance paid off because on December 17, 1903, Orville made the first official flight. Their Wright Flyer stayed in the air for 12 seconds and glided 120 feet. Wilbur then flew it and stayed in the air for 59 seconds and went 852 feet. As they continued to tweak and practice the art of flying, their times grew longer as well as their distances.
Every person on earth now, is thankful for the gift of flying. Praise the Lord!
Zipline Racer Investigation
How does the amount of rotations on the propellor affect the speed of the zipline racer?
In class I set up a zipline the length of the classroom attaching string to chairs and pulling the string taut.
Each student had to count how many times they turned their propeller before they tested it on the zipline.
Getting students to go back to their investigation sheet and documents how many turns they used in a specific trial is amazingly hard since most of them want to 'play' and just see if it works. I love that these two students I caught documenting their data.
Mysteries of flight
manna moment- Dealing with problems
James 1:2-4 -" Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastedness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete lacking in nothing."
The Wright Brothers encountered one problem after another. First, their lift calculations never matched the data they had available at the time. Next, the wing warping apparatus they had engineered was not working correctly and dangerous, Third, they were camping on the beach at Kitty Hawk with many mosquitoes, no bug spray or shelter other than a tent. The winds at Kitty Hawk were not consistent. Sometimes the winds were too much, other times not enough. When their glider crashed, it took three days or more to repair and on and on. Yet each problem that occurred led them to a better solution. Each problem highlighted something that didn't work. Once they fixed the problem, they achieved controlled gliding.
With each problem we encounter in our lives let us have the perspective to know that its purpose is for much better. Be humble, make corrections, repent and be made perfect and complete through Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior.
Wright Gliders 1, 2, and 3
There are many obstacles when we try to achieve something new. This was not any different for the Wright Brothers. Their first glider, where they initiated a 'wing warping' mechanism, struggled to achieve lift. They were using Otto Lilienthal's data and were disappointed that their prototype did not glide as well as what they had expected.
They made modifications to correct the problems in the first glider but ended up with more problems which gave them some set backs. One of the setbacks was when Wilbur's nose collided with the elevator. At this time, the elevator was on the front of the glider and Wilbur was on his stomach, so when he crashed, he crashed right into the elevator. It was at this point that they figured that Lilienthal's data was not as accurate as they needed it to be.
This was another problem and it demanded that the Wright brothers build their own wind tunnel and collect their own lift data.
Finally, a third prototype was tried with a fixed rudder. The tendency of this glider was that one wing would be high and the other wing would be low and plummet into the ground. This too was another problem to overcome.
Orville theorized that there was build up of air pressure at the rudder causing it to be unbalanced. The solution to this problem was to have an adjustable rudder.
Changing the rudder allowed them control over the three axes of motion and to glide successfully in 30mph winds.
Now that they had a successful glider, they felt confident to add some power to it.
Since the Wright brothers added a rudder to their Wright glider and they had this idea from their toy helicopter that they played with years ago, I thought I would incorporate a little information about how a helicopter flies.
Here is a short video and some questions to ask after to have conversation about what they learned.
What are three things that make Henry I helicopter go?
1. The collective which allows the helicopter to take off.
2. Rudder pedals that control yaw (pivot right and left)
3. Cyclic helps the helicopter bank side to side and pitches the nose down controlling roll and pitch.
What is a rotor?
The rotating blades that supply lift.
paper helicopter investigation
The Wright Brothers decided to start conquering the problem of flight by first inventing a glider they could control in the air with no power. Likewise, it is beneficial for the students to investigate this paper helicopter before they add the power of the rubber band for the following investigation.
However, if you under time constraints as I am, I will be assigning this investigation for homework and building the rubber band helicopters during class.
These paper helicopter templates are found in the Mysteries of Flight Student Guidebook. After they cut and fold them together, they are to place a paperclip on the bottom to give it more weight.
For the investigation, they are to see what makes the quickest descent and the fastest spin.
While my son dropped his helicopter, I timed the descents. Then for calculating the spins, we colored one blade red to be able to count it easier as it spins.
Rubber Band helicopter investigation
Here is a video about how to make a Rubber Band Helicopter in order to complete this investigation guide.
I let the students create their own helicopter. Some flew really well while others did not. I, again, placed the questions in their lap to help them become the problem solver. Compare your helicopter to another helicopter. What is different and what is the same? Change one thing at a time to control variables and you will figure it out. This was a wonderful activity.
Mysteries of Flight Curriculum
All the investigation guides and note taking sheets are included in our Mysteries of Flight curriculum.
If you would prefer not to commit to the 12 lessons, here are all the pieces you need to do Lesson 9.
manna moment- Humble learners
Proverbs 29:1- "He who is often reproved, yet stiffens his neck, will suddenly be broken beyond healing."
What is your first response after you have been corrected or reproved? Do you ignore it and remain stubborn or stiff-necked? Or do you humbly repent, re-evaluate your way and correct what you did wrong? The Wright brothers knew that rigid, stiff, wings would lead to disaster but how could they make flexible wings without sacrificing the integrity of the wing structure? They invented something called wing warping where one wing will twist up while the other wing twists down to be able to provide a way to control 'roll' during flight. This is so that a gust of wind wouldn't come and flip their rigid wings over, plummeting the passenger to the ground in disaster. Let us be humble learners, being willing to admit when we don't know everything and open to twisting a little bit in order to be able to soar like the eagles.
Angle of Attack Demonstration
Question: Will the water flow faster the larger the angle is?
Procedure: Find a flat, square/rectangular piece of plastic. Have a volunteer hold the plastic piece just slightly angles. Note the speed at which the water moves. Have the volunteer increase the angle of the plastic. Note the speed the water moves.
Evidence-based explanation: Because of the greater angle and the pull of gravity, the water flows faster with the larger angle. This is similar to the angle of attack in flight. Air will flow faster and greater the angle of attack of the wing. This produces more lift.
It was hard to see the difference in the water flow on the plastic lid, however, if you looked at how it was rolling off the lid, there was a difference. Not as much water flowed off at the smaller angle as did the larger angle. There were some limitations to this demonstration.
Learning the parts of an airplane
Here is a great video that goes through the different parts of the airplane. We made a printable to go with this video for our Lesson 8 Mysteries of Flight bundle found at the end of this post.
Wing Warping the Wright Way is a great demonstration of how the Wright Brothers developed wing warping by the Smithsonian Air and Space.
One person made an actual Wright Glider and here is a 41 second clip of what that looks like.
Wing warping investigation
Using the template in the student guidebook and found in the Lesson 8 of Mysteries of Flight bundle, you can investigate some wing warping by folding different corners of a paper glider to see what effect it will have on the how the glider flies. There is a chart with different combinations to try and space for them to document their results.
This is a great opportunity to assess their glider knowing the four forces of flight. Many students were throwing these small gliders very hard and they would just crash. It is possible that they were applying too much thrust to the glider and should adjust accordingly.
In their guidebooks, I encouraged them to take this wing warping and see if it would be helpful in their previous gliders made during class.
Mysteries of flight curriculum
Manna Moment- Self Control
Proverbs 25:28- "A man without self control is like a city broken into and left without walls."
The pioneers of flight before Wilbur and Orville Wright were Sir George Cayley, Otto Lilienthal, Perry Pilcher, Octave Chanute and Samuel Langley. Each of these men were so focused on getting off the ground and moving forward, they hadn't spent near enough time thinking about how to control the aircraft once it was in the air. Lilienthal and Pilcher both died as a result of losing control of their gliders when an unexpected gust of wind caught them.
God's word reminds us of how important self-control is- a man without self control leads to destruction. Part of the fruit of the Spirit is self control. When we accept Jesus Christ as our Savior by repenting of our sins, we are given the Holy Spirit as a counselor and guide. Through the power of the Holy Spirit we can display, by His power, love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self control. By the power of the Holy Spirit, we can be in control of our thoughts, words and actions to make our lives worthy of Jesus Christ.
approaching the Problem of flight scientifically
How do you take a BIG question and narrow it down to something smaller and testable?
BIG question: How do we fly?
Wilbur and Orville Wright did some background research to find out who had already been working on the problem and what they had already figured out. Then they took their BIG question and narrowed it down to "What exactly is needed to fly?" In asking this question, Wilbur pinpointed three obstacles in the way of successful human flight.
1. Wing Construction
2. Power needed for thrust
3. Balancing and steering the flying machine after it was up in the air.
Based on these three obstacles, they picked one to start on resulting in a smaller and testable question: How do you control an airplane once it is in the air?
The Scientific Method:
1. Make Observations - Observations can include noticing, looking, measuring, or testing for patterns.
2. Ask Questions- Which questions can be answered with observations, measurements, or tests?
3. Background Research- Use research to find out what has already been investigated.
4. Make a Hypothesis- Choose your testable variable and make a hypothesis.
5. Determine Procedures- What steps do you need to take to control for your specific variables?
6. Collect Data- How accurately can you measure your data?
7. Analyze Data- What does the data mean?
8. Draw Conclusions- Did your results support your hypothesis? What did you learn about your question or hypothesis?
With every aspect involved in the science of flight, the Wright brothers had to continually return to the scientific method for every problem they faced along the path to achieve heavier than air controlled flight.
Axes of motion
Moving around in the air was a completely new idea for people in the late 19th century so the Wright brothers had to use what they knew and apply it to what they didn't know.
The three axes of motion for flight are:
The Wright brothers had to be resourceful to understand these three axes of motion. To learn about yaw, they learned from navigating boats.
To learn about pitch, they studied how Civil War submarines dove into the water and came up. This is where they learned that the vertical rudder would control yaw while a horizontal rudder would control pitch.
Finally, the Wright brothers were bicycle engineers and when they saw people riding bikes and leaning into a turn, they learned something about what roll would be in the air.
To make this easier for my students, I used a piece of Dry Fom used to place flowers in for arrangements. This is representative of the fuselage of an airplane. I then had them stick in three bamboo skewers to represent each axe of motion. They would label them accordingly. Every time they twisted the 'yaw' skewer, the nose would go left or right. When they held the skewer labeled 'pitch' the nose could go up and down and finally when they held the skewer labeled 'roll' , they could see the plane tilt to the left or right.
air foil investigation
I had my students build an airfoil apparatus to be able to investigate different types materials for airfoils.
All the instructions for this are found on the Airfoil Investigation Guide.
Which material makes the best airfoil? The materials that I gave the students were: index cards, tissue paper, printer paper and aluminum foil.
They were to make the apparatus and then place the different types of airfoils on it. Turn on a hair dryer and see which airfoil experienced the most lift.
steps to making the airfoil apparatus
1. Read the instructions all the way through first.
2. Straighten two large paper clips leaving one end bent in an 'L' shape.
4. Measure one inch on the airfoils in order to know where to hole punch.
5. Hole punch the air foils making sure that the distance between the holes is one inch and that they are straight.
6. Place the straightened paperclips one inch apart on the 4x6 piece of cut cardboard.
7. Tape the flat part of the paperclip to the bottom of the cardboard piece.
8. Mark the straw using centimeters.
This is the finished airfoil apparatus.
Testing the airfoils
Don't forget to finish calculating the averages to all the trials and writing your conclusion statements on the investigation.
We are more than halfway through our lessons. It is time for some review. I consider this our 'mid-term'.
manna moment- balance
Isaiah 40:31-"But those who wait on the LORD shall renew their strength, they shall mount up with wings like eagles, they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint"
We've all found ourselves at one point in time trying to walk along a narrow path, balancing our weight between our extended arms and the next step forward. In the same way, achieving flight is a balancing act where low air pressure and high air pressure work together to achieve lift. In order to soar like an eagle, there must be fast moving air above the wings to lower the air pressure in order for the slower moving air under the wings to exert a higher pressure push up to lift the wings. All the tasks mentioned in the verse-renewed strength, flying, running, walking- are the outcome of waiting on the LORD first. We won't always have to wait but we must always trust Him and His timing. We must be diligent to allow the LORD to renew our strength so that we can fly, run, and walk for His Glory and His Kingdom.
In 1738, Daniel Bernoulli discovered an inverse relationship between pressure and velocity. He described this observable pattern in what today we call Bernoulli's principle. Bernoulli's Principle describes this inverse relationship this way: "As the velocity of a fluid increases, the pressure exerted by that fluid decreases."
This discovery had an impact on flight because it treated air as a fluid that had the same predictable pattern. With respect to flight, the Bernoulli Principle translates to "As the speed of air increases, the pressure given by the air decreases"
Last week, we talked about how Sir George Cayley discovered the four forces that govern flight. He published evidence that proved that ornithopters would never be able to fly because they were too heavy and had too much drag. Once this publication was out there, there weren't any more people trying to make the ornithopters work thus Wilbur and Orville decided to investigate how to make a fixed wing work.
The next step was to figure out what shape to make the fixed wings. The shape of a wing is called an 'airfoil'. There are several factors to an airfoil that contribute to its success or failure. They are: its length, width and angle of attack. The Wright brothers had to tinker with airfoils for a good amount of time before they found the right shape. The successful airfoil had a curved top of the wing and the wing itself was thin. Their design would continue through both World Wars and Wilbur ended up publishing their findings in an article called "Angle of Incidence" in the Aeronautical Journal during 1901.
Bernoulli's Principle in action
We tested Bernoulli's Principle during class using a ping pong ball and a hair dryer. When we turned on the hair dryer, we placed the ping pong ball on top of the hair dryer to see what would happen.
After we finished with the ping pong ball and the hair dryer, we then tried it with a beach ball and a leaf blower to see if it would act the same.
Finally, I placed a roll of toilet paper on a broomstick and used the leaf blower to blow the toilet paper. Because the air was traveling faster, increased velocity, it created lower air pressure allowing the ping pong ball, beach ball, and toilet paper to experience lift.
Lessons 1-6 vocabulary bingo
In the student guidebook, there is a page where the students can write in their vocabulary words on a Bingo sheet in order to play during class. We played Bingo and reviewed our vocabulary all at the same time
Philippians 2:3-8- "Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interest, but also to the interests of others. Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross."
Noah Webster's (1828) American Dictionary of the English Language defines humble as 'having a low opinion of one's self and a deep sense of unworthiness in the sight of God." Alternatively, humility is defined as "freedom from pride and arrogance."
When faced with a larger-than-self task, it is important to:
1. Recognize that the task is larger than one person can accomplish.
2. Admit that others have or have had good ideas about how to accomplish such a task.
3. Be humble in considering others ideas in order to accomplish the larger task at hand.
Wilbur has a sense of humility when requesting help fro the Smithsonian on all the information about flight. he was not assuming he would solve the problem but might merely add to the research on the subject in hopes of someone one day being able to accomplish controlled flight. Only the LORD knew that it would be Wilbur and Orville who would discover and accomplish so great a feat. Yet it was only possible by having access to those who went before them. Wilbur and Orville's acknowledgement of this is part of having humility. Jesus, who was with God in the beginning, who is the WORD made flesh, and is King had an attitude of humility, never sought equality with God, emptied Himself, taking the form of a servant and was obedient to death on a cross to grant us salvation from sin. In all our endeavors, let us be humble before God and others.
Four Forces of Flight: Are lift and gravity competing forces?
In order to investigate whether the force of gravity and the force of lift are opposing, we set up a simple activity.
With a piece of copy paper in between two flat hands horizontally, they spun around. Once they were spinning, they would remove their bottom hand to see what would happen and which forces would be at work.
We then observed what happened with they slowed down with the bottom hand still removed.
Finally, we spun around and removed our top hand to see what would happen.
Here is our Evidence-based Explanation: Lift and gravity are competing forces because they balance each other. The balancing of these forces allows the paper to remain on the bottom of the hand while spinning. As soon as the air needed for lift is gone when you stop spinning, the force of gravity exceeds lift and the paper falls to the floor.
Four Forces of Flight: Are Thrust and drag competing forces?
For this investigation, we used thin books like readers. Holding the reader flat vertically between your hands, they would spin. Once they are spinning they would remove their front hand. The book would remain on the back hand while thrust and drag were balanced. As soon as they began to slow down the reader would fall to the ground as thrust and drag became unbalanced and gravity took over.
With the knowledge of the four forces of flight, I had the students make paper gliders to model the four forces of flight. There are two investigations that they can choose from, they can either build a glider to see how far it can fly OR they can build a glider that when given thrust hits a specified spot on the wall, most accurate.
There are a bunch of ways of making a paper glider. I encouraged the students to do some research themselves to figure out which way to fold their paper would bring about the furthest distance or the most accurate paper glider.
how do airplanes fly
Here is a link to the video about how airplanes fly. How Do Airplanes Fly
There is a video guide on page 30 of the student guidebook that you can find in the 12 lesson bundle under Lesson 5, or you can purchase just Lesson 5 below too.
Job 12:7,9- "But ask the beasts, and they will teach you, the birds of the heavens, and they will tell you; Who among all these does not know that the hand of the LORD has done this?
When the Wright Brothers gathered research on all the information available on flight, the one thing they consistently came back to was the birds. God created birds with the ability to control their flight. Studying birds as part of God's creation and how they controlled their ability to fly, Wilbur and Orville were able to make informed decisions about the design they used that ultimately led to the first human-controlled flight. God's words for Job were just as true for Wilbur and Orville Wright in the 19th century as they are of us today. Ask the birds of the air and they will tell you. The Wright brothers were able to unlock the mysteries of flight only because there was a model engineered that they could learn from. Let us never forget that everything we discover or uncover was made by our Amazing Creator. He is worthy of all the glory and honor and praise for everything we, as mankind discover.
A little history and the birds
Orville Wright came down with typhoid in 1896. While he was sick in bed, Wilbur would read to him. One of the items he read was the newspaper. There was an article in the newspaper announcing the death of Otto Lilienthal, the world famous Flying Man. He had died from injuries sustained during a flying accident. A gust of wind send his glider plummeting to the ground. Otto wrote a book called Birdflight As the Basis of Aviation which the Wright brothers read to learn about ornithology, the study of birds.
Birds have some amazing characteristics that allow them the joy of controlled flight.
Characteristics of birds that allow them to fly:
1. Hollow bones- these have the structure similar to struts that support bridges. They are able to retain their strength without extra weight.
2. Air sacs fill the spaces between their internal organs- most birds have nine air sacs that help them breathe efficiently and maintain their lightness for flight
3. The shape of their wings- perfect for achieving lift
4. Feathers- creates a streamlined shape and air tight to help them fly.
What are some key features of bird feathers?
Using hand lenses, I gave the students both real and fake feathers to observe. On their investigation sheet, there is space for them to label the parts of a feather as well as draw what they see through the hand lens.
How do feathers behave in the wind?
A bird's wing and feathers bend at a natural curve that scientists and engineers called an airfoil. The angle of attack of the feathers naturally create lift when you blow on them. We took some of the feathers and blew above and below them to see how they acted.
Are bird feathers waterproof?
Oil and water do not mix. When a bird rubs its beak across its feathers (preening) they are depositing and spreading oils on their feathers making them repel water. Not all birds are able to oil their feathers to make them water-resistant though. Owls, parrots, and pigeons don't have the uropygial gland that produces oil.
We used a pipette to place water on the feathers to see what would happen. We then made a mixture of soap and water to see what the difference would be.
Observing, learning the parts, and drawing what we see of the bird feather.
How do feathers behave in the wind?
Are bird feathers waterproof?
Videos about Birds and Flight
During class, we watched this short video about How Do Birds Fly. I made a video guide to go along with it to pull out the main points. You can grab it in our Lesson 4 Bundle.
For the student's Flying High work at home, they will be watching Wonders of Creation: Flight
There is a video guide for this one too.
Neither one is very long but they have great information.
Other opportunities for learning involve a Birds in the Field Observation Guide. This has sections where you can document what you observe when birds take off, climb higher, glide, and turn. What are the bird's feet doing? How are the wings moving? What do the tips of the wings look like? and What is happening to their tail feathers?
Finally, we have made a flip animation book of a flying bird. This is also in the Lesson 4 Bundle.
Matthew 8:26-27- "And [Jesus] said to them, "Why are you afraid O you of little faith?" Then He rose and rebuked the winds and the sea, and there was a great calm. And the men marveled, saying, "What sort of man is this that even winds and the sea obey Him?"
The Sun, the yellow dwarf star at the center of our Solar System, governs our days and gives us an enormous amount of energy. A good portion of this energy comes in the form of heat. We learn in this lesson that the heat given by our Sun is what is responsible for most of the wind on our planet. There is no coincidence in the parallel to our physical Sun and the Son of God. The same LORD who created the physical Sun (Genesis 1:14-19; Col 1:16) also has the authority and power to tell the winds it creates to stop (Matt. 8:26-27). When Jesus calls out into the storm and commands the wind and waves to stop, they have no choice but to obey. When the wind and waves seem tumultuous in your life, trust the Lord, He is in control of the wind and waves. He can make them stop or can use them to fill your sails and set you on a course along His good and perfect will.
wilbur and orville wright
The students in my class have been amazing at reading their note-taking sheet before they come to class each week. This allows me some freedom to not read to them word for word but be able to have some conversation about what has been read.
Today we talked about the similarities and differences between Wilbur and Orville Wright. Wilbur was particularly interested in reading and intellectual challenges and was four years older than Orville. Orville, on the other hand, was motivated by the prospect of making money. Wilbur and Orville worked well together. Eventually, Wilbur helped Orville be able to make and fly kites. Orville ended up selling kites that he had made to the kids in his neighborhood.
Both Wilbur and Orville were good at tinkering and were known as being 'handy', able to fix things. When bicycles were becoming the popular mode of transportation, people would bring their broken bicycles to Wilbur and Orville to fix. Eventually this turned into a business. As their experience grew, they didn't just repair bikes, they began to make custom new bikes for customers. These things all contributed to Wilbur and Orville's success in discovering heavier than air controlled flight.
What is needed to fly a kite?
If the answer you chose to the question is 'wind', then you are correct. You need wind to be able to fly a kite. Wind is moving air and we need warm air and cool air to change places in order to have wind.
Warm, less dense air rises and expands and as it does, cooler, more dense air takes its place. The heating and cooling of the air creates air pressure shifts which coincide to precipitation that is needed all over the earth.
Wind is very important as it keeps temperatures mild and moves air masses and Earth's evaporated water supply around the world.
One factor that contributes to the direction and speed of air is the Coriolis Effect. This is the phenomenon that typically produces winds that move from west to east.
To demonstrate the Coriolis Effect during class, I brought in a Lazy Susan and an 8 in round piece of cardstock paper. I placed the round circle on top of the Lazy Susan and centered a ruler across it. As I held the ruler in place and placed my pencil up against the ruler, I asked a student to assist me in turning the Lazy Susan to see the 'Effect'
As I drew a straight line, because the Lazy Susan was turning, it caused my 'straight' line to curve. This is what happens to wind on our planet.
Making an Anemometer
Anemometers are used to measure wind speed.
How to construct an Anemometer:
1. Tape one end of thread to a ping-pong ball and the other end to the center of the base of a protractor. There is a template of a protractor in the back of the Student Guidebook on pg. 69.
2. Make sure to hold your anemometer level, away from your body and facing the wind.
How to calculate wind speed with your anemometer.
A five-degree shift from 90 degrees (hanging straight down) is a wind speed of about 6 miles per hour.
For every five additional degrees add 2 more miles per hour of speed.
For example: If the ping pong ball moves from straight down (90 degrees) to 70 degrees (20 degree shift), then the wind is moving about 12 miles per hour (6 miles per hour for 90-85, and an additional 6 miles per hour from 85 to 70.)
We calculated the breezes from 6 mph to 24 mph this morning. This is one way to estimate the wind speed.
Building a Windsock
We are building a windsock this week at home so that we can determine the wind direction. Wind direction is typically communicated by where the wind is coming from.
How to construct a Windsock:
1. Color and cut a piece of cardstock. There is a great template that correlates with the manna moment in our Lesson 3 bundle and on page 70 if you have the Student Guidebook.
2. Bend the template to make a long tube and use a stapler to secure its corners.
3. Fasten streamers or ribbon to one end of the tube.
4. Use a hole puncher to place two holes int he opposite end of the wind sock to attach it to the string.
It is helpful to document the wind direction and speed each day.
Mysteries of Flight Curriculum
This is all of the sheets that you might need for the Lesson 3. It includes the note taking guide, lesson plan, instructions on how to build the anemometer, windsock and kite along with the vocabulary words.
The whole 12 lessons is right here for you.