# Geometry and Algebra: The Future Flight Equation

### Source Institutions

NASA

In this activity, learners discover how NASA engineers develop experimental aircraft. Learners will use geometry and algebra to design, construct, and test an experimental wing to achieve maximum distance using a portable glider catapult. This lesson plan includes background information, key vocabulary and definitions, blackline masters, extensions including an instructional technology activity, and resources.

### Quick Guide

Preparation Time:
30 to 45 minutes

Learning Time:
1 to 2 hours

Estimated Materials Cost:
\$10 - \$20 per group of students

Age Range:
Ages 11 - 14

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

Language:
English

### Materials List (per group of students)

• 20 straight pins
• 8 small binder clips
• Calculator
• Student worksheets (pages 13-21 of PDF)
• 10 meat trays (suggestion: 28 cm X 23 cm - size 12)
• Meter stick or measuring tape
• 4 scissors (optional: plastic knife, box cutter)
• Fine sand paper or emery board
• 2 thumbtacks
• Rubber band (size 64)
• Cardboard (28 cm X 40 cm)
• 2 wooden rulers or paint sticks

### Subjects

• Earth and Space Science
• Astronomy
• Probes, Satellites and Spacecraft
• Earth Structure
• Atmosphere
• Engineering and Technology
• Engineering
• Aerospace Engineering
• Transportation Engineering
• Mathematics
• Algebra
• Equations and Inequalities
• Data Analysis and Probability
• Data Analysis
• Data Collection
• Data Representation
• Geometry
• Plane Geometry
• Measurement
• Units of Measurement
• Size and Scale
• Number and Operations
• Physical Sciences
• Energy
• Work and Machines
• Motion and Forces
• The Nature of Science
• The Scientific Process
• Conducting Investigations
• Gathering Data
• Formulating Explanations
• Communicating Results
• The Nature of Technology
• The Design Process
• Research and Development
• Invention and Innovation
• Problem Solving
• Troubleshooting and Maintenance

### Informal Categories

• Model Building
• Transportation

### Audience

• see
• be mobile
• touch

#### Learning styles supported:

• Involves teamwork and communication skills
• Uses STEM to solve real-world problems
• Involves hands-on or lab activities

### Other

• Free access

#### By:

• NASA Center for Distance Learning, Office of Education at NASA’s Langley Research Center