A Pre-Kindergarten - Grade 12 co-educational independent day school in Westchester, New York

Grade 5 Science Students Construct Tetrahedral Kites

Grade 5 students in Mark Bortner’s science class carefully constructed tetrahedral kites based on a design created by Alexander Graham Bell in his effort to beat the Wright Brothers to the invention of the airplane. Students used tissue paper, string, and straws to make the models. After a thorough building and testing process, the budding aerospace engineers flew their kites on the turf! 

As part of this hands-on unit, students pose and consider scientific questions by changing one variable in their kites design to see if it affects a different performance variable. They also connect their small individual four-tetrahedron kites to make larger kites composed of 16 tetrahedrons (four small kites) and 40 tetrahedrons (10 small kites). Then they compare how size impacts performance. 

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