Lesson Plan : Bird Flight

Teacher Name:
 kim Ritchie
Grade:
 Grade 3
Subject:
 Science

Topic:
 Bernoulliís Principle
Content:
 airplane, winds, wings, Bernoulli's principle, flight, glider, air pressure, aerodynamics
Goals:
 Show students a model airplane. Ask students how they think an airplane's wings help it fly. Introduce general background information about Daniel Bernoulli from Daniel Bernoulli or from Britannica.com: Daniel Bernoulli. Tell students that Bernoulli was a Swiss scientist who made a discovery about air pressure that is now called Bernoulli's Principle. Explain that according to Bernoulli's principle, airplane wings are shaped so that air flows faster over the top surface than over the bottom.
Objectives:
 learn about Daniel Bernoulli to see how the decrease in air pressure which occurs when air is moving (relative to air which is not moving or is moving more slowly) allows birds to fly.
Materials:
  wooden dowel, thread, masking tape,styrofoam balls about the same size as the ping pong balls, hand held hair drier
Introduction:
 By using two styrofoam balls , a dowel rod, tape, thread and a hair drier I will show the principle of bird flight.
Development:
  First cut two pieces of thread about a foot long each. Second, tape one thread end to one of the balls and the other thread end to a second ball. Last tape the other end of one thread to the dowel near one end; get the second thread and tape to the other end of the dowel rod. this should cause the two balls should hang down from the dowel when it is held horizontally so that they are about 1/2 inch apart (horizontally) but at exactly the same level (height-wise).
Practice:
 Ask for a volunteer to hold the dowel horizontally (so the balls hang down) and another to blow (gently but firmly) through the space between the two balls. Ask the children to predict what will happen to the balls (most probably will say that the balls will be pushed apart). Actually, if the volunteer is careful to blow straight through the space between the balls and not on the balls themselves, the balls will be pushed together! The increase in velocity of the air being blown through the space between the two balls relative to the speed of the (still) air on either side of the ball makes the air pressure lower between the balls than outside of them, and the balls are thus pushed together.
Closure:
 the velocity of the air passing above the bird's wing is greater than the velocity of the air passing beneath it's wing, the air pressure is greater below the wings than above it them , and the bird is pushed up.
Evaluation:
 I would have the students write a one page report explaining in their own words how the experiment worked.

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