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Wingin ’ It. Renee Breeze and Tina valentine. Engage. Teacher: Ask “What factors contribute to eagles being successful hunters?” After viewing YouTube video, ask the same question again for any changes in thought.

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wingin it

Wingin’ It

Renee Breeze and Tina valentine

  • Teacher:
      • Ask “What factors contribute to eagles being successful hunters?”
      • After viewing YouTube video, ask the same question again for any changes in thought.
      • Ask, “Do you thing the eagle would have been able to carry the goat effectively if it had differences in body size, eyesight, talon size, or wing size?
      • Lead students to the idea that wing size is the most testable variable.


      • View YouTube clip titled Golden Eagle vs. Goat”
      • After viewing clip, write down changes they might want to make to their original thoughts.
      • Using the contributing factors, students should find a testable variable.
  • Teacher:
    • Group students into groups of 2 to 4
    • Ask, “What can we change to make our helicopter fly longer?”
    • Assign a student in each group jobs. (length, recorder, flyer, timer)


    • Investigate how wing size will affect flight time by making a paper helicopter (See Handout).
    • One student will record wing length, another will record information into a data table, another will drop helicopter from fixed length, and another will time the length of the fall.
    • In next trials, students should vary the wing length by 2cm until they record the longest flight time.
    • Plot data
  • Teacher:
    • Discuss the overall graph with the class using the following concepts
          • Scatter plots
          • Lines of best fit
          • Liner equations
          • Domain/range
    • Introduce the concept of the Wing/Body Mass ratio (bird’s wing length : bird’s body weight)


  • Answer the following questions:
      • Which length produced the longest flight time?
      • What is the best wing length for a bird of this size traveling a long distance?
      • Why?
  • Teacher:
    • Assign students a different number of paper clips to modify the mass of their helicopters.


    • Students should use the wing/body ratio to predict the new optimal wing length of their new helicopter.
    • Follow the same instructions from the EXPLORE section except they should run three trials per wing length and find the mean of the scores.
    • Record new data on a similar coordinate plane.
  • Teacher:
    • Facilitate discussion using the following questions
        • “Which length produced the longest flight time/less speed with the new weight?”
        • “Which length produced the shortest flight time/faster speed?”
        • “Where your predictions accurate?”
        • “What is the best wing length for a bird traveling a far distance?”


    • Use the ration discussed in the EXPLORE portion to predict the weights of the birds listed at the end of the data collection sheet.
    • Students can then research, using the library or internet, to determine if their prediction was correct.
    • State clearly from research why you think your prediction was or was not correct. Cite two pieces of evidence.