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How Tails Help a Kite to Fly

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Active Time
30-45 minutes
Total Project Time
30-45 minutes
Key Concepts
aerodynamics, wind, flight, forces, sled kite
Homemade sled kite with plastic bag tails

Introduction

Have you ever tried to build your own kite? Kites have been a source of entertainment for centuries for kids around the world. How do some features of a kite, such as its tail, affect how it flies? In this activity you will have a chance to build your very own kite, a simple sled kite, and use it to investigate how tails help kites fly. How well will your kite fly?

Credits

Teisha Rowland, 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 1,200 Science Fair Project Ideas or use the Topic Selection Wizard to get a personalized project recommendation.

Materials

  • Printer
  • Paper
  • Scissors
  • Tape
  • Hole punch
  • Drinking straws (2)
  • Kite string
  • Measuring tape or ruler
  • Paper clip
  • Plastic grocery bag or other thin plastic bag
  • An open, clear area outside
  • Optional: Crayons, markers, or other art supplies for decorating your kite
    Photograph of the materials needed to test how well a homemade sled kit flies with different length tails.

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Active Time
30-45 minutes
Total Project Time
30-45 minutes
Key Concepts
aerodynamics, wind, flight, forces, sled kite