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published by the Integrated Teaching and Learning Program: Teach Engineering
supported by the National Science Foundation
This lesson is the fourth of a four-part unit for Grades 5-8 on the key forces in flight: lift, weight, thrust, and drag. In this lesson students explore the drag force on airplanes and how engineers design aircraft to reduce drag. It also introduces the concept of conservation of energy and how it relates to drag. The lesson includes objectives, warm-up questions, background information for teachers, assessment questions, classroom activity, and web-based reference material.

TeachEngineering is a Pathway project of the National Science Digital Library. It provides a large collection of teacher-tested, research-based content for K-12 teachers to connect real-world experiences with curricular content.
Subjects Levels Resource Types
Classical Mechanics
- Newton's Second Law
= Force, Acceleration
- Newton's Third Law
= Action/Reaction
- Work and Energy
= Conservation of Energy
Education Practices
- Active Learning
= Inquiry Learning
Fluid Mechanics
- Dynamics of Fluids
= Flow Rate
Other Sciences
- Engineering
Thermo & Stat Mech
- First Law
- Middle School
- Instructional Material
= Activity
= Instructor Guide/Manual
= Lesson/Lesson Plan
= Problem/Problem Set
Appropriate Courses Categories Ratings
- Physical Science
- Lesson Plan
- Activity
- Assessment
- New teachers
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Intended User:
Educator
Format:
text/html
Access Rights:
Free access
Restriction:
© 2004 Regents of the University of Colorado
Keywords:
Newton's Laws, action-reaction, engineering, flight, force interaction, force pairs, friction drag, induced drag
Record Cloner:
Metadata instance created October 10, 2011 by Caroline Hall
Record Updated:
January 10, 2012 by Caroline Hall
Last Update
when Cataloged:
August 23, 2010

AAAS Benchmark Alignments (2008 Version)

3. The Nature of Technology

3A. Technology and Science
  • 6-8: 3A/M3. Engineers, architects, and others who engage in design and technology use scientific knowledge to solve practical problems. They also usually have to take human values and limitations into account.
3B. Design and Systems
  • 3-5: 3B/E1. There is no perfect design. Designs that are best in one respect (safety or ease of use, for example) may be inferior in other ways (cost or appearance). Usually some features must be sacrificed to get others.

4. The Physical Setting

4E. Energy Transformations
  • 6-8: 4E/M3. Thermal energy is transferred through a material by the collisions of atoms within the material. Over time, the thermal energy tends to spread out through a material and from one material to another if they are in contact. Thermal energy can also be transferred by means of currents in air, water, or other fluids. In addition, some thermal energy in all materials is transformed into light energy and radiated into the environment by electromagnetic waves; that light energy can be transformed back into thermal energy when the electromagnetic waves strike another material. As a result, a material tends to cool down unless some other form of energy is converted to thermal energy in the material.
4F. Motion
  • 3-5: 4F/E1a. Changes in speed or direction of motion are caused by forces.
  • 3-5: 4F/E1bc. The greater the force is, the greater the change in motion will be. The more massive an object is, the less effect a given force will have.
  • 6-8: 4F/M3a. An unbalanced force acting on an object changes its speed or direction of motion, or both.
  • 9-12: 4F/H4. Whenever one thing exerts a force on another, an equal amount of force is exerted back on it.

11. Common Themes

11A. Systems
  • 6-8: 11A/M1. A system can include processes as well as things.
  • 6-8: 11A/M2. Thinking about things as systems means looking for how every part relates to others. The output from one part of a system (which can include material, energy, or information) can become the input to other parts. Such feedback can serve to control what goes on in the system as a whole.
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Record Link
AIP Format
(Integrated Teaching and Learning Program: Teach Engineering, Boulder, 2004), WWW Document, (http://www.teachengineering.org/view_lesson.php?url=http://www.teachengineering.org/collection/cub_/lessons/cub_airplanes/cub_airplanes_lesson05.xml).
AJP/PRST-PER
Teach Engineering: May the Force Be With You: Drag (Integrated Teaching and Learning Program: Teach Engineering, Boulder, 2004), <http://www.teachengineering.org/view_lesson.php?url=http://www.teachengineering.org/collection/cub_/lessons/cub_airplanes/cub_airplanes_lesson05.xml>.
APA Format
Teach Engineering: May the Force Be With You: Drag. (2010, August 23). Retrieved July 23, 2014, from Integrated Teaching and Learning Program: Teach Engineering: http://www.teachengineering.org/view_lesson.php?url=http://www.teachengineering.org/collection/cub_/lessons/cub_airplanes/cub_airplanes_lesson05.xml
Chicago Format
National Science Foundation. Teach Engineering: May the Force Be With You: Drag. Boulder: Integrated Teaching and Learning Program: Teach Engineering, August 23, 2010. http://www.teachengineering.org/view_lesson.php?url=http://www.teachengineering.org/collection/cub_/lessons/cub_airplanes/cub_airplanes_lesson05.xml (accessed 23 July 2014).
MLA Format
Teach Engineering: May the Force Be With You: Drag. Boulder: Integrated Teaching and Learning Program: Teach Engineering, 2004. 23 Aug. 2010. National Science Foundation. 23 July 2014 <http://www.teachengineering.org/view_lesson.php?url=http://www.teachengineering.org/collection/cub_/lessons/cub_airplanes/cub_airplanes_lesson05.xml>.
BibTeX Export Format
@misc{ Title = {Teach Engineering: May the Force Be With You: Drag}, Publisher = {Integrated Teaching and Learning Program: Teach Engineering}, Volume = {2014}, Number = {23 July 2014}, Month = {August 23, 2010}, Year = {2004} }
Refer Export Format

%T Teach Engineering: May the Force Be With You: Drag
%D August 23, 2010
%I Integrated Teaching and Learning Program:  Teach Engineering
%C Boulder
%U http://www.teachengineering.org/view_lesson.php?url=http://www.teachengineering.org/collection/cub_/lessons/cub_airplanes/cub_airplanes_lesson05.xml
%O text/html

EndNote Export Format

%0 Electronic Source
%D August 23, 2010
%T Teach Engineering: May the Force Be With You: Drag
%I Integrated Teaching and Learning Program:  Teach Engineering
%V 2014
%N 23 July 2014
%8 August 23, 2010
%9 text/html
%U http://www.teachengineering.org/view_lesson.php?url=http://www.teachengineering.org/collection/cub_/lessons/cub_airplanes/cub_airplanes_lesson05.xml


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Teach Engineering: May the Force Be With You: Drag:

Accompanies Teach Engineering: May the Force Be With You: Thrust

This is Part 3 of Teach Engineering's 4-part unit on the forces of flight. This lesson explores thrust, the force created by propellers, rockets, and jets.

relation by Caroline Hall
Accompanies Teach Engineering: May the Force Be With You - Lift

This is Part 1 of Teach Engineering's 4-part unit for Grades 5-8 on the forces of flight. It explores lift and how it is produced by the special shape of an airplane wing.

relation by Caroline Hall
Accompanies Teach Engineering: May the Force Be With You: Weight

This is Part 2 of Teach Engineering's 4-part unit for Grades 5-8 on the forces of flight. It explores the relationship between weight and gravity, and why weight is considered in the design of an aircraft.

relation by Caroline Hall

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