Building Tetrahedral Kites

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Working in teams of four, learners build tetrahedral kites following specific instructions and using specific materials. They use the basic processes of manufacturing systems--cutting, shaping, forming, conditioning, assembling, joining, finishing, and quality control--to manufacture complete tetrahedral kites within a given time frame. Investigating questions encourage learners to reflect about the engineering and manufacturing process. Activity contains recommended resources about the history of kites and their construction.

Quick Guide

Preparation Time:
Under 5 minutes

Learning Time:
45 to 60 minutes

Estimated Materials Cost:
$1 - $5 per group of students

Age Range:
Ages 11 - 14

Resource Types:
Activity, Lesson/Lesson Plan


Materials List (per group of students)

  • kite string
  • glue sticks
  • 4 full size sheets of tissue paper per kite
  • 7 3/4" tall plastic straws (not the flexible kind), 60 per kite
  • pipe cleaners (1 per kite)
  • scissors
  • poster board or oak tag (1/4 board per kite)
  • pencils
  • Kite Template & Instructions


  • Engineering and Technology
    • Engineering
      • Aerospace Engineering
      • Industrial Engineering
      • Manufacturing Engineering
  • Mathematics
    • Geometry
      • Solid Geometry
  • Physical Sciences
    • Motion and Forces
  • The Nature of Technology
    • The Design Process
      • Research and Development
      • Invention and Innovation
      • Problem Solving

Informal Categories

  • Outdoor Activity
  • Toys


To use this activity, learners need to:

  • see
  • touch

Learning styles supported:

  • Involves teamwork and communication skills
  • 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


  • Center for Engineering Educational Outreach, Tufts University

Source Collection

  • TeachEngineering


  • All rights reserved, Regents of the University of Colorado, 2013