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Flight - Celebrating the First 100 Years

Found in: Free Resources for Educators

It's been described as the "12 seconds that changed the world." The Wright Brothers forever changed human travel at Kitty Hawk, North Carolina on December 17, 1903, with their heavier-than-air powered flight, which traveled 120 feet. We celebrated 100 years of flight on December 17, 2003.

Learn more about the Wright brothers' historic flight with these NEA-recommended online resources.

Smithsonian Institution: Original Correspondence of Wright Brothers
Maintained by the Smithsonian Institute are original documents written by the Wright Brothers to officials at the Smithsonian Institution asking for information to further their interest in flight. This page also has a link to lesson plans on using Primary Source Documents in classes.

Library of Congress: The Wilbur and Orville Wright Papers at the Library of Congress
An amazing collection of Wright Brothers papers and photographs has been scanned for use in the classroom on this site. The brothers took many of the photographs as a scientific method of documenting their work.

Educator's Flight Plan: US Centennial of Flight Commission
This site has separate parts for educators and children. After you check out the educator's site, which has numerous links to help in planning a flight unit, go to the "kids" site. There is information about women in flight and also many short (3-7min.) video clips explaining the design and flying of the Wright Brothers gliders. The explanation of the science behind flight and the scientific process that the Brothers used in their experiments are illustrated in the short clips. Each clip is accessible and has subtitles for hard of hearing or deaf children.

Re-Living the Wright Way
This site has lesson plans, java applets that help with simulations of the gliders' moves, and activities that include how to build the Wright's 1902 glider. PowerPoint presentations on a number of topics (some by students and some by NASA scientists) can be downloaded and used in the classroom. (The Glenn Research Center)

Aeronautics Kidspage
This Web site is designed to help children learn aeronautics. Lesson plans on the history and propulsion of airplanes are provided.

Beginner's Guide to Aeronautics
Just how do airplanes fly? What keeps them in the air? All your questions will be answered. The site provides background content needed to teach a unit or lesson.

This interactive Web site connects mathematics to aeronautics. Each lesson features a person with a disability who works in some area of the aeronautics field.