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ERIC Number: EJ758486
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2007-Feb
Pages: 5
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 4
ISSN: ISSN-0887-2376
Taking Flight: Using a Wind Tunnel to Teach Aeronautic Principles
Zembal-Saul, Carla; Huckans, John H.; Walker, Dean C.; Hershberger, Kimber; Kurz, Nathan A.; Reed, Diane; Cole, Milton W.
Science Scope, v30 n6 p27-31 Feb 2007
Several teachers from State College (Pennsylvania) Area School District became intrigued with helping their students better understand the science associated with a unit on air and aviation. In particular, they observed that students often encountered difficulty with abstract flight concepts, such as lift, thrust, and drag. Content issues became even more problematic when students attempted to connect principles of flight to the design of airplanes. These matters became the motivation for bringing together a group of experienced classroom teachers, Penn State University faculty and students from the physics and science education departments, and a local pilot from U.S. Airways to seek more effective ways to support student learning. As a result of their meetings, the teachers and science educators worked to develop an instructional sequence aimed at helping students understand Bernoulli's principle, which contributes to the lift responsible for flight. The rest of the team worked to develop an inexpensive wind tunnel that could be used to test wing designs. This article describes the development of a wind tunnel and discusses how it can be used to teach aeronautic principles in the classroom. (Contains 4 figures and 4 online resources.)
National Science Teachers Association. 1840 Wilson Boulevard, Arlington, VA 22201-3000. Tel: 800-722-6782; Fax: 703-243-3924; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Pennsylvania