Let's Go Fly A Kite!
Kites can provide a course of work that will involve research, drawing, model making skills, followed by detailed design, manufacture and evaluation. The raw materials are relatively inexpensive.
Kites were first made and flown in China and Japan more than 2500 years ago (made from silk and bamboo) and have fascinated people for centuries. It is not surprising that something so relatively simple and inexpensive to make should now be enjoyed all over the world. Observations and investigations with kites led eventually to the first heavier than air flying machines, such as Otto Lilienthal's hang glider and the Wright brothers 'Fliers'.
Many aspects of the curriculum can be covered through kites:
- • Maths: symmetry, scale, ratio, measurement
- • Science: gravity, forces
- • Recycling: using unwanted materials
- • Engineering: planning, designing, adapting, testing, critical thinking, problem solving
- • Cross generational learning, cross cultural learning
This resource is suitable for Key Stage 2 and 3 and the complexity can be adapted through design and use of available materials.
Each of the kite shapes looks different, but the forces acting on all the kites is exactly the same. In fact, with the exception of thrust, the forces acting on a kite are also the same forces which act on an airliner or a fighter plane. Like an aircraft, kites are heavier than air and rely on aerodynamic forces to fly. Like an aircraft, kites have a solid frame normally made of wood or plastic, and this frame is covered by a paper, plastic, or cloth "skin" to generate the lift necessary to overcome the kite's weight. A kite must be made as light as possible for good performance yet be strong enough to withstand high winds.
Download our evaluation worksheet and 'how-to' instruction booklets and encourage pupils to take to the skies!
Kite Making Design Worksheet
How to make a Diamond Kite
How to make a Sled Kite
Shop All Kite Project Kits