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In this experiment, learners discover how an airfoil creates lift. Learners use simple materials to build an airfoil and test it at different angles to investigate Bernoulli's principle. This activity guide includes questions for drawing conclusions, extensions, and an answer key.

Quick Guide

Preparation Time:
Under 5 minutes

Learning Time:
45 to 60 minutes

Estimated Materials Cost:
$10 - $20 per student

Age Range:
Ages 8 - 11

Resource Types:
Activity, Experiment/Lab Activity, Lesson/Lesson Plan, Model


Materials List (per student)

  • protractor
  • desk fan
  • wooden block (length of protractor)
  • 50 cm stiff wire
  • bead
  • scissors
  • glue
  • tape
  • six 10-cm pieces of yarn
  • thin cardboard 11 cm X 31 cm
  • small nail
  • hammer
  • drill (optional)
  • science journal


  • Engineering and Technology
    • Engineering
      • Aerospace Engineering
      • Transportation Engineering
  • Mathematics
    • Algebra
    • Data Analysis and Probability
      • Data Analysis
      • Data Collection
      • Data Representation
    • Geometry
      • Plane Geometry
    • Measurement
    • Number and Operations
  • The Nature of Technology
    • The Design Process
      • Problem Solving
  • Physical Sciences
    • Motion and Forces
  • The Nature of Science
    • The Scientific Process
      • Conducting Investigations
      • Formulating Explanations
      • Communicating Results

Informal Categories

  • Transportation


To use this activity, learners need to:

  • see
  • read
  • touch

Learning styles supported:

  • Involves hands-on or lab activities


Components that are part of this resource:

Includes alignment to state and/or national standards:

This resource is part of:

Access Rights:

  • Free access


  • Ricles, Shannon ; Locke, Dan ; Livingston, John


  • Public domain, ,

Funding Sources:

  • AIAA Foundation
  • Busch Gardens, Williamsburg
  • Hampton City Public Schools
  • ASA Langley Research Center’s Learning Technology Project and Aerospace Vehicle Systems Technology Program Office