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The Aerodynamics of Flying a Frisbee

by Teisha Rowland, PhD and Ben Finio, PhD
Active Time
20-30 minutes
Total Project Time
20-30 minutes
Key Concepts
aerodynamics, forces, physics, lift, drag
A frisbee lieing on the grass.

Introduction

Are you good at tossing a Frisbee? Have you ever wondered how a Frisbee is able to fly through the air so well? If you can throw a perfect, arcing curve, right on target, you have already trained your arm on the aerodynamics of Frisbee flight! In this science activity, you will investigate how the angle at which you throw the Frisbee affects its flight's direction and distance. Next time you are out tossing a Frisbee, this little lesson in aerodynamics may help make your throws be even better!

Credits

Teisha Rowland, PhD, Science Buddies
Ben Finio, PhD, Science Buddies
This activity is not appropriate for use as a science fair project. Good science fair projects have a stronger focus on controlling variables, taking accurate measurements, and analyzing data. To find a science fair project that is just right for you, browse our library of over 1,150 Science Fair Project Ideas or use the Topic Selection Wizard to get a personalized project recommendation.

Materials

  • A Frisbee
  • Long string or hose
  • Tape measure
  • Large open area to toss a Frisbee in
  • Optional: A helper
  • Optional: A piece of paper and a pen or pencil
    A frisbee, string, and a tape measure are all the materials needed for an aerodynamics science activity.
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Active Time
20-30 minutes
Total Project Time
20-30 minutes
Key Concepts
aerodynamics, forces, physics, lift, drag