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Estes Glider Challenge - Unit Plan

Estes Glider Challenge - Unit Plan

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Grades 6-8 | 7 (45 min) Classes

We have a natural desire to extend our capabilities and make life easier and more enjoyable for ourselves and others. Every human is wired to create solutions to challenges in their life. Think about a toddler you might know. Every day toddlers ask questions, imagine possibilities, plan, create something new, test, improve then share successes and failures. This process is 100% natural. People, both big and small, learn by doing. In this project, students will learn the art and engineering that goes into building a solution to a simple problem.

Estes Rockets is a model rocket company located in Penrose, Colorado. It is known as the “Model Rocket Capital of the World”. Since 1958, they have opened the world of experiential learning opportunities in the fields of aerospace, science, technology, engineering, math, and arts to millions of people. In this design challenge, students will be helping the engineers at Estes Rockets design a paper glider model for a new line of aerospace products. Engineers often create small models of a product to test and evaluate a design. This is especially true with flying vehicles. Model testing tells engineers how to adjust their designs to meet the project requirements for the client and end user. Students will be introduced to the engineering design process and apply the 4C’s (creativity, communication, critical thinking, and collaboration). A Student Portfolio is included to help students track the excitement and learning experience.


Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS)

MS-PS2-2 Motion and Stability: Forces and Interactions

Plan an investigation to provide evidence that the change in an object’s motion depends on the sum of the forces on the object and the mass of the object.

MS-ETS 1-4 Engineering Design

Develop a model to generate data for iterative testing and modification of a proposed object, tool, or process such that an optimal design can be achieved.

Materials Needed

Each Student Needs:

  • Student Portfolio
  • Paper 8.5″ x 11″
  • Pencil
  • Tape
  • 3″ x 5″ Notecards

The Class Needs:

  • Art Supplies (Variety Needed)
  • Measuring Wheel or Yardstick

More Lesson Plans

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