Explore Flight: Kites
Tuesday 05/25/2021
6:00 pm ET
FREE 1-hour Webinar
Educators in Grades K-12
The NASA Educator Professional Development Collaborative at Texas State University is providing a 1-hour webinar.

Join us for an educator professional development webinar on Exploring Flight and Kites.  Learn about motions and forces, transfer of energy, abilities of technological design, energy in the earth system, science as a human endeavor, and historical perspectives.  Engage in discussion about how wind acts on objects, how air moves, and how wind can be damaging (as in storms), but also helpful (wind power). By understanding that animals and humans can use nature’s power of wind to accomplish different activities, students will learn how the forces of nature can impact our daily lives.

Learn about the Beaufort Wind Scale and why it was developed.  Apply the Beaufort Wind Scale to gauge approximately how fast the wind is moving based on objects in nature and their movements.  Make educated estimates about how many knots the wind is moving outside by observing objects in nature and their movements. They will make observations to identify the direction the wind is blowing and the approximate wind speed based on objects in nature and their movements.

There are many types of kites, and over the years the materials used to build kites has changed. Materials have included silk, bamboo, string, plastic, nylon, wood and more. Discover ways to create kites from simple to complex. NASA has classified five different types of kites. The five types of kites discussed in this webinar are the Winged Box, the Sled, the Delta, the Box Kite, and the Diamond. All kites must be lightweight and strong to endure powerful winds. A solid frame made usually of wood or plastic serves as the base of the kite, while paper, plastic, or cloth serve as the kite’s skin. Kites will range in abilities based on their construction. Some kites are very stable while others are extremely maneuverable. Kites also can soar to high altitudes and others can perform magnificent stunts.  We will share instructions on how to make each of these.

Leave with a classroom ready Powerpoint that works great for an in-person, at home or virtual presentation.  It includes embedded videos, links and aligns to NGSS.

 This educational activity aligns to NASA Education API 2.4.2 - Continue to support STEM educators through the delivery of NASA education content and engagement in educator professional development opportunities.


Barbie Buckner is a 20+ year STEM classroom teacher with a Doctorate Degree in Mathematics Education from the University of Louisville. Her research interest include the impact of technology on student achievement and teacher behavior. Buckner recently served as a 2013-14 Einstein Fellow at the National Science Foundation Education and Human Resources Directorate where she collaborated with colleagues on learning, learning environments, broadening participating and workforce development. Barbie sees education as her calling and has spent her life sharing her love for learning with everyone around her. Knowing that today’s student will compete in a global economy, Barbie says that “It is imperative that today’s students are prepared with consistent, rigorous, and relevant standards that encourage more STEM majors, particularly women, to keep this great nation at the forefront in technology, innovation, and advancement.”