Cover image
Lesson

Sierpinski Kite Flying Forces

Strawbees Team

In this lesson, explore the rich history of kite flying, as well as the different types and purposes of kites. Learn about inventors who played a key role in the development of kites and investigate the forces at work to make kites fly. Experiment with flying a tetrahedron and then collaborate to build and fly a larger Sierpinski pyramid kite.

9-14+
45m
:
United States 4, 5, 6, 7, 8
Energy
Forces
Geometry
Wind
Student Journal
Guide - Platonic Solids
Extra Kite Activity Booklet

Overview and Objectives

Lesson Structure

When students go through this lesson in each section the objectives they will learn are:

  • Warm-up – Learn about kite design as a phenomenon throughout the ages.
  • Imagine – Learn about the principles of flight-the balanced and unbalanced forces acting on a kite to cause it to fly.
  • Create – Create a tetrahedron kite out of a single pyramid.
  • Build – Combine pyramids to create and fly a Sierpinski kite. 
  • Reflect – Reflect on challenges to building and flying a kite.
  • Challenges – Opportunities to extend your thinking and prototyping skills through a fun variety of challenges! 

After this lesson students will be able to:

  • Summarize a brief history of the development of kites and the multiple purposes throughout the ages.
  • Evaluate why kite designs, uses, and applications have changed over time. 
  • Differentiate between different types and parts of kites.
  • Build a kite using the modules of the Sierpinski triangle.
  • Expand upon existing kite prototypes to solve practical and real-world challenges.
  • Determine the forces acting on the kite and record observations from multiple attempts to fly the kite.
  • Experiment with making design adjustments to be able to fly the kite successfully, and justify design changes.

For more in-depth references and extra videos, images and sites to show students, go to the References and Extra Resources section at the end of this lesson.

Structure

When starting Kite Flying Forces, you will be able to:

  • Learn about kite design as a phenomenon throughout the ages.
  • Learn about the principles of flight-the balanced and unbalanced forces acting on a kite to cause it to fly.
  • Create a tetrahedron kite out of a single pyramid.
  • Combine pyramids to create and fly a Sierpinski kite. 
  • Reflect on challenges to building and flying a kite.
  • Opportunities to extend your thinking and prototyping skills through a fun variety of challenges!