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Wind Tunnel Testing

Lesson Focus 
Lesson focuses on wind tunnel tests that engineers in many industries use to when developing products such as airplanes, cars, and even buildings. Teams of students build their own model car out of everyday products and test their design in a wind tunnel made of a fan blowing through a long cardboard box.

Age Levels:

11 - 18
  • Learn about engineering design.
  • Learn about wind tunnels and engineering testing.
  • Learn about teamwork and working in groups.
Anticipated Learner Outcomes 

As a result of this activity, students should develop an understanding of:

  • mechanical engineering and design
  • aeronautical engineering testing
  • problem solving
  • teamwork
Lesson Activities 

Students learn how products such as airplanes, cars and trucks are tested in wind tunnels to determine performance and efficiency. Student teams design their own model car and test it in a simple classroom wind tunnel using a fan and long cardboard box. Next, student teams draw their design, build it using low cost materials, evaluate their own work and that of other students, and then present their observations to the class.

  • Teacher Resource Documents (attached)
  • Student Worksheets (attached)
  • Student Resource Sheets (attached)

Alignment to Curriculum Frameworks

Curriculum alignment sheet is included in PDF.

Alignment to Curriculum Frameworks

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