Through this project, learners will use the engineering design process to fabricate and launch their own gliders through a design challenge, interact with a full scale glider and glider pilots to support their understanding of the parts of a glider, flight controls and aerodynamics and actually fly in a glider in a partnership with Southern California Soaring Academy. Preflight training on simulators will support the development of flight and navigation skills. The history of flight, anatomy of birds, current experimental gliders, meteorology, can be woven in to extend and enhance knowledge, giving meaning to research and writing.
As children, we look up at the sky and point at birds and planes in wonder, taking for granted their ability to fly. Many of us have fantasies of flying. Tapping into our curiosity about flight, this project takes us into the forces behind flight, answering the age old question “how do things fly?” Aerodynamics introduces learners to the forces described by Newton and Bernoulli to make sense of how our physical universe works.