Dayton Regional STEM Center
(937) 225-4598
200 S. Keowee St. Dayton, OH 45402

Evolution of Aircraft: Propellers to Scramjets

This activity will familiarize students with the history of aircraft propulsion beginning with the modeling of a vehicle using a propeller as a means of propulsion. The goal is to allow students to design an aircraft using specific materials that utilize air propulsion from a balloon as a means to travel. Using tools of measurement and methods of recording, students will investigate the essential question. They will maintain the same testing conditions while describing, illustrating, and evaluating their design process in an Engineering Logbook. They will record and analyze data collected and observed to make design improvements to their initial aircraft, vying for their aircraft to travel the fastest in the class.

Physical Science Standard Grade 9: Benchmark D: Explain the movement of objects by applying Newton’s three laws of motion.
Science and Technology Standard Grade 9: Benchmark A: Explain the ways in which the processes of technological design respond to the needs of society.
Scientific Inquiry Standard Grade 9: Benchmark A: Participate in and apply the processes of scientific investigation to create models to design, conduct, evaluate and communicate the results of these investigations.
Technology and Society Interactions Standard Grade 9: Benchmark A: Interpret and practice responsible citizenship relative to technology.
Design Standard Grade 9: Benchmark A: Identify and produce a product or system using a design process, evaluate the final solution and communicate the findings.
Grade 9: Benchmark B: Recognize the role of teamwork in engineering design and of prototyping in the design process.
Measurement Standard Grade 9: Benchmark A: Solve increasingly complex non-routine measurement problems and check for reasonableness of results.
Data Analysis and Probability Standard Grade 9: Benchmark F: Construct convincing arguments based on analysis of data and interpretation of graphs.
Patterns, Functions and Algebra Standard Grade 9: Benchmark J: Describe and interpret rates of change from graphical and numerical data.