Lesson Focus

Lesson focuses on the engineering behind air traffic control systems. Students work in teams to evaluate data generated for a virtual air traffic system, and determine a plan to bring three planes safely through a set airspace. They then recommend engineering enhancement to the current system.


Full Lesson Plan
Student Worksheets

Translated Lessons:

Age Levels:

11 – 18


  • Learn about radar.
  • Learn about air traffic control technology.
  • Learn about systems engineering.
  • Learn about teamwork and working in groups.

Anticipated Learner Outcomes

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

  • radar and air traffic technology
  • problem solving
  • teamwork

Lesson Activities

Students learn how the engineering and principals behind radar and air traffic control systems have impacted travel. Students work in teams to explore and use radar and computer technology to evaluate a current ATC system, virtually act as traffic controllers, and then develop guidelines to improve the engineered interface between the radar and the human controller.


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

Alignment to Curriculum Frameworks

Curriculum alignment sheet is included in PDF.