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From Future Flight to Past Flight

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Keywords: science, photography, aeronautics, flight, aircraft, fractal geometry, materials engineering, math
Subject(s): Science, English/Language Arts, Social Studies, Geometry, Photography, Technology, Art, Math, Physics
Grades 5 through 8
Original Author: Pamela Whiffen, Scottsdale
My fifty gifted science and students will have completed field testing NASA's Future Flight Design educational materials and would use this grant to produce CD-ROMs of images integrating the real world experience of a field trip with their classroom learning experiences. After completing the NASA units, they will have an introductory aerospace background and will utilize the knowledge gained to guide them through a field trip to the Pima Air Museum and the Titan Missile Museum in Tucson, AZ.

Each cooperative learning group will be assigned a particular area to focus upon including: the use of fractal geometry in aircraft design such that form follows function; the use of materials science engineering and examples of the varied and innovative use of materials; and the changing size and scale of aircraft design over time. Students participating in this project would share their CD-ROMs with other science classrooms on our campus. In addition, students would create a large photo collage of their images to be put on display in our cafeteria and in the meeting room of our District School Board. Requiring students to actively share their projects would enrich their experience and reach a broad learning community.
This unit combines the use of the online, virtual learning environment with real world experience. Additionally, by sharing their experiences with others, students will further extend the range of their knowledge.
Cross-Curriculum Ideas
The inclusion of Fractal Geometry and Materials Science Engineering further enriches their content area knowledge beyond basic Aeronautical Engineering.
Links: NASA Future Flight Design
Materials: Slideshow, Word Processor, Flash/USB Drives, Camera Bags, Digital SLR
Other Items: 2 photo paper to produce a collage of images to be displayed in our school's cafeteria and District School Board meeting room, $100 each, total of $200.00
2 100 CD-RW Pack, $75 each, total of $150.00
1 entry fee for the Pima Air Museum and the Titan Missile Museum for 50 students, $325 each, total of $325.00