You tasque: Work with a partner or by yourself design and build a glider out of balsa wood and materials found in class.


Design & Build

  • Design your glider using an engineering-type diagram. All lines MUST be drawn using a straight-edge. Small curves can be hand-sketched but larger curves must be done using a protractor, compas or similar.

5 pts total

Points will be deducted for each occurance of:

    • freehand sketching
    • inaccurate measurements
    • missing measurements
    • missing units (EVERY number MUST have a unit present, no exceptions)


  • Describe why you chose that particular design. Best descriptions will make reference to body length, wing length, shape of wings, shape of the body, appropriate refences to the forces acting on the plane and related details. (2 paragraphs please)

5 pts total

Points will be deducted for each occurance of:

    • inaccurate or vaguely written science descriptions
    • inaccurate or vaguely written engineering descriptions

Data and Calculations:

  • How far did your plane fly (1 pt) ?
  • How well did your plane fly on the initial attempt? (1 pt)

Redesign (this requires multiple entries which may very easily end up being multiple pages in length) 10 pts

  • What modifications did you make to your plane?
  • What problem were you trying to solve when you made that modification? (Hint: referring to one of our four forces-- weight, lift, thrust and drag will make for a very strong analysis here)
  • How well did those modifications work?
  • Why did those modifications fail? (see hint above)

This may seem like a simple review. Please know that THIS section is a VERY important section and requires thoughtful responses.

For a description of THOUGHTFUL responses, please read THIS