High Flyers: Building a Glider with Everyday Materials

Aimed at upper primary, this resource contains a series of lessons which explore forces and flight through a practical challenge where children work in teams to investigate materials and then design, make and test their own gliders. The first lesson sets the scene and introduces the problem as well as some basic information about gliders including how they are launched. In lesson two children explore the science of flight and conduct investigations into the materials that they will be using to build the gliders. The next lesson allows children to put their knowledge to the test, using the materials they investigated they build their gliders and test them to see if they fit the criteria set out in the original challenge. The final lesson asks children to reflect on their learning and communicate their findings to the children who set them the challenge. Included in each of the resources in this collection is an initial lesson in which children explore their ideas about engineering and look at different types of envelopes thinking about how their design may be modified for different purposes.

This resource has been produced by the European project ENGINEER, under the funding of the 7th framework programme, as part of ENGINEER project, contract № 288989. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.

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