Grade Level: 7th – 9th; Type: Physics
The purpose of this science project is to determine how wind speed affects the stability of a kite and the ease of getting it into the air.
- How does wind speed affect how easy it is to get a kite to fly?
- How does wind speed affect a kite’s stability in the sky?
“It’s the perfect day for kite flying!” Or is it really? What do you think the wind conditions would need to be like in order for your kite flying experience to be ideal? In this science experience, you will examine which wind speeds make it easiest for you to get a kite into the air, as well as which ones keep your kite most stable.
- Access to television or internet
1. Figure out what the wind speed in your area is. You can do this by watching a news station on television or by looking it up on the internet.
2. Find a good area that is clear of trees and other obstacles to fly your kite.
3. Give a partner a stopwatch, and have them start it as soon as you start trying to get your kite in the air.
4. Record the number of seconds that it takes for the kite to stay in the air.
5. Write down a description of how your kite looks as it flies. Does it stay upright? Does it move around or stay in one place? Does it dip and twist? Is it constantly rotating?
6. Ground your kite, and then send it up again four more times. Record your data in a chart such as the one below.
Time for Successful Flight to Begin
Description of Stability
7. Repeat this process on at least four more days that have different wind speeds. (Nine more days would make your data even more accurate.)
8. Analyze your data by making a line graph showing how wind speed affects the number of seconds it takes for the kite to stay in the sky. Also try to find a relationship between wind speed and the movement of the kite in the sky.
Terms/Concepts: The Bernoulli Effect; What causes wind?; What makes a kite fly?
First Place Science Fair Projects for Inquisitive Kids, by Elizabeth Snoke Harris. Pp. 68-69.