Category: Resource

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    Cloud Banners


    Cloud Banners
    Cloud Banners Kite product image

    In this investigation, teams will color-code a kite design on graph paper to visualize the surface area of a kite. The activity can be followed up with a Cloud Banner presentation that shows how kites are used to represent stories from different regions around the world and to show values and special interests.

    People have used kites to share art and ideas for thousands of years. If you’re planning to build kites for an Art or STEAM unit, this Cloud Banners presentation makes a great introduction. The bundle features a math lesson that guides students through surface area calculation and a beautiful slideshow showing kites from around the world.

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  • To Mars and Back

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    Humans have dreamed of visiting Mars since the 1880s, but getting there isn’t easy. Using a game board modeled after the orbits of Mars and Earth, student teams will plot a course to Mars and back. As they plan their Mars mission, students will use the same navigation method that NASA uses for interplanetary travel – the Hohmann Transfer Orbit. You can use this STEM activity, and the included Rover’s slideshow to introduce a Solar System unit or a Mars rover design project. In addition to planning their voyage, students will also learn the uses, design, and history of space rovers from 1970 to the present. The full bundle includes the following:

    • PowerPoint slideshow to introduce teams to Rovers
    • Differentiated lesson plan to explain the requirements and methodology of the Mars Mission activity
    • Spreadsheet with Hohmann transfer orbit cycles
    • Video links that explain and demonstrate the Hohmann Transfer Orbit method
    • Teacher Notes and charts

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    Understanding Blueprints


    Understanding Blueprints

    This presentation introduces blueprints associated with the sled kite, diamond kite, delta kite, sode kite, and rokkaku kite while explaining the details of the blueprint and how they are used to make the kite’s sail and adding the dowels.

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  • Discover the Skies with Kites

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    This four-lesson unit uses an engineering approach to build a kite. Teams test their material options, then select their sail and spar materials. While building the kite, students use tools such as a wood file, side cutting pliers, and sandpaper. Don’t forget the safety glasses!  The unit features a customizable design challenge, kite design options, and a budget-conscious material list. Created by a teacher/engineer writing team, this bundle includes procedures and technical tips to aid teachers as they troubleshoot design problems.

    Discover the Skies With Kites is packed with graphical resources, notebook inserts, and helpful tips from a teacher and engineer.

    Lesson One supports include:

    • Testing Kite Materials videos for testing sails and spars
    • Two slideshows to support lesson one:
      • An Introduction to Kites
      • Kites in Flight, an introduction to principles of flight
    • Two teacher support documents
    • Three lab worksheets for students (sail testing, spar testing, and kite design)

    Lesson Two supports include:

    • Two slideshows to support lesson two:
      • Craftsman’s Way (a tool to introduce criteria for quality work)
      • Cloud Banners (examples of ways kites can be used)
    • One Google Sheet for converting DL units to centimeters
    • One Student Lab sheet that outlines how to make a model and why a model is useful
    • One teacher’s key for checking student work

    Lesson Three supports include:

    • One slideshow: Kite Blueprints (to help students read a kite template/blueprint)
    • One student Lab sheet that to help students make a pattern for their sail
    • One teacher key for checking student work

    Lesson Four supports include:

    • Step-by-step guides for building three classic kites: diamond, delta, and sled.

    BONUS: The bundle includes an illustrated knot tying handout and Step-by-Step instructions for a testing platform called the Gizmo Rig. The Gizmo Rig is useful for a host of STEM applications.

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  • The Physics of Flight chart

    This chart introduces the forces at play for a kite in flight. The Lift diagram describes how a kite soars in the air defying gravity. Teachers can also use this chart to introduce the Beaufort wind scale as a tool for describing wind as an aspect of weather.

    Download our handy chart to understand kite flight!

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    Kites in Flight


    Kites in Flight

    A kite is more than just a scrap of paper or plastic tossed about in the air. It is a carefully engineered craft that balances four forces to achieve stable flight in defiance of the law of gravity. Most students are familiar with kites and many have flown them successfully. This vibrant slideshow introduces the four forces of flight (thrust, drag, lift, and gravity) using a kite as a reference. Use this slideshow to introduce a kite building unit or add some STEM to a springtime art or writing project.

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