Hebrews 10:35-36- "Therefore do not throw away your confidence, which has a great reward. For you have need of endurance, so that when you have done the will of God you may receive what is promised."
Wilbur and Orville Wright had many setbacks as they attempted to invent a controlled flight aircraft in the early 1900s. We too, in our Christian life will have many setbacks, and yet God is in control and always sovereign. We can take great confidence in God's sovereignty. What we consider setbacks may be the LORD building our endurance that we may receive what He has promised.
note taking sheet
The first lesson's note taking sheet guides us as we learn about Wilbur and Orville's early years beginning to see where they received inspiration, knowledge and information. Along with these tidbits of history, I couple science concepts about the properties of air that support us as we learn more about the mysteries of flight. Feel welcome to follow along with our free lesson, or buy the whole 12-week science adventure. This unit will teach your students not only about the physics of flight, but also character traits that honor the Lord in doing His work. A wonderful bonus is that this unit is full of science investigations where students get to use the scientific method in a hands on way. So if your student wants to participate in a science fair this year, this is a great unit to do with many ideas on different science fair projects.
Properties of Air
A little review:
Matter is anything that has mass and takes up space. All matter has physical and chemical properties. These properties can be observed, measured, or tested. Scientists and engineers use data from observing, measuring, and testing physical or chemical properties to describe or identify a specific substance or mixture.
Air is a mixture of pure gases made up of nitrogen, oxygen, carbon dioxide, argon, and helium with tiny particles like pollutants, pollen, soot and water vapor (small water droplets). Even though air can appear invisible to us, it shares physical properties with other types of matter. In order for the Wright brothers to discover controlled flight, they had to get to know this mixture very well.
The properties of air that we investigated today in class are:
1. Air has a mass. We used a balloon pump to inflate two balloons with exactly the same number of pumps in each balloon. We taped the balloons to the end of a yardstick and balanced the yardstick on our fingers. Using a pin, we popped one balloon. Some of the force of popping the balloon made the yardstick unsteady, however, when you went to balance the balloon again, you would see that the side of the yardstick where the balloon was tied was lower than the other side. We know that air has mass because the inflated balloon's weight pulled the yardstick down where the side with the popped balloon went up signifying a difference in mass.
2. Air takes up space or has volume. Taking a bowl of water, a cup and a paper towel. I wadded up the paper towel and stuffed it into the cup making sure that when I tipped the cup over, the paper towel did not slide out. After stuffing the cup with the paper towel, I submerged the cup into the water so that the water completely covered the cup. I asked the students if they thought the paper towel would be wet when we brought it out of the water. When we brought the cup out of the water and felt the paper towel, it was dry. This signifies that the air within the cup takes up space because the water could not be in the same space as the air.
3. Air can move. Wind is actually defined as moving air. We observe wind all the time. But can air move inside a room or house? I gave the students streamers to place in front of a fan but also so they could spin in a circle and see how the moving air pushes the streamers up.
"Faith is the gift of God. So is the air, but you have to breath it; so is bread, but you have to eat it; so is water, but you have to drink it." D.L. Moody
Air moves. One student suggested laying the fan on the floor pointing up to see the streamers 'fly'. It was great to see that air moves, otherwise, we wouldn't be able to fly.
Handy helicopter rotation investigation
As noted in the history of Wilbur and Orville Wright note taking guide, their first inspiration towards flight was a souvenir that their father brought them home from his travels. It might have been similar to this handy helicopter. We used the handy helicopter and handy helicopter investigation guide to investigate the guiding question: How does the direction you rotate the handy helicopter affect its flight?
Here are the procedures we followed
1. Mark a wall with a yardstick and tape where the students can observe the height of each helicopter take off. Standing near the wall, place the handy helicopter in between two open hands with the propeller on top.
2. Move your left hand away from your body and your right hand toward your body to rotate the stem clockwise.
3. Observe and record how the handy helicopter flew.
4. Repeat steps 2 and 3 for three trials.
5. Repeat this procedure moving your right hand away and left hand closer to rotate the stem counter clockwise.
6. Record your observations
7. Repeat steps 5-6 for three additional trials.
We wrapped up our investigation by analyzing our data to see if our data supported or did not support our hypothesis (Spinning the handy helicopter clockwise or counter-clockwise will cause it to climb higher).
Note: I could NOT get these students to go back and write down their data on their handy helicopters. They mostly practiced and learned which way was counter-clockwise and which was was clockwise. This is perfectly fine and fun, however, I am expecting them to collect data for this investigation at home. The investigation sheets are in their Mysteries of Flight student books.
Mysteries of Flight Curriculum