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Lift Experiment

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Lift Experiment

In this experiment, learners investigate how the size of a wing affects lift. Learners count the number of pennies an egg crate plane wing can hold until the plane will no longer fly. Learners calculate the amount of weight/mass added to plane and conduct two more trials to find the average weight/mass lifted. This lesson guide includes a data table, conclusion questions, and extension ideas.

Quick Guide

Preparation Time:
45 to 60 minutes

Learning Time:
45 to 60 minutes

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

Age Range:
Ages 8 - 11

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


Materials List (per group of students)


  • Engineering and Technology
    • Engineering
      • Aerospace Engineering
      • Transportation Engineering
  • Mathematics
    • Algebra
    • Data Analysis and Probability
      • Data Analysis
      • Data Collection
      • Data Representation
    • Measurement
    • Number and Operations
  • Physical Sciences
    • Motion and Forces
    • Structure and Properties of Matter
      • Mass and Weight
  • The Nature of Science
    • The Scientific Process
      • Conducting Investigations
      • Gathering Data
      • Formulating Explanations
      • Communicating Results

Informal Categories

  • Model Building
  • Transportation


To use this activity, learners need to:

  • see
  • read
  • 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


  • 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


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