Brief Description of the Site:
Happy 100th to the Wright Brothers as we celebrate their first successful flight ushering powered flight into the 20th century. Everything (or if not everything, quite a lot) the flight enthusiast might want to know is here from the Wright Brothers' biographies, the invention process (kites, gliders, wind tunnels and balance experiments), models, and the list goes on! There's something here for every age (elementary to high school) with links to numerous lesson plans for classroom use listed by grade level. The links to these plans give educators their sources that include many from NASA. These are particularly helpful because NASA's web site, while powerful, can be overwhelming and somewhat complicated site to navigate. Site navigation for Century of Powered Flight is easy making resources accessible in short order, a definite asset.
How to use the site:
You can use lesson plans on aeronautics (even for elementary ed levels), careers in the space industry, flight simulations to explore, web cam links (called KAAMS), simulations, class activities (such as building a balsa wood model of the Wright Brothers plane for grades 6-10), and follow the link to a beginners guide to propulsion, replete with a hyperlinked glossary. Teachers can excerpt activities for a day or a year. The webcast link provides presentations (in quicktime video format and Power Point) submitted by NASA Explorer Schools who wish to share their materials and experiences from their 2003 participation. There's even a play excerpt demonstrating cross-curricular extensions to language arts. Wonderful photos are available on the site, and the site map provides a pared down list for easy reference (i.e. "For Teachers, NASA links, flight related links") for a quick no nonsense approach. Access to these resources is user friendly (The guides and activity printouts are very helpful) and have contact links for educators who have additional questions.