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Quite Amazing!

STRINGtime!

Go Fly A Kite!


It's STRINGtime. It's time to fly a kite. If you visit The Franklin Institute Science Museum during Spring Break, you'll be greeted by dozens of kites flying high overhead. There's no wind in the museum, though, so the kites are actually held by strings. But that makes us wonder about kites. How do kites fly? What's the science?

To investigate, we went first to visit the kitemaker who is currently visiting the museum. There we learned about the history of kites. For nearly three thousand years, Chinese artisans have been making kites.

That made us want to try flying our own kites, so we headed to the roof where we hoped to catch a breeze. From the rooftop, on a breezy day, we set our kite sailing.

But we still wondered about the science. We visited the museum exhibit on aviation where we learned about the Bernoulli Principle. It turns out that the same principle applies to kites. Basically, air moving quickly across the surface of the kite causes the air pressure on the kite to reduce, making it light enough to float on the moving air current. If the air current stops moving, the air regains its pressure and the kite falls heavily to the ground. That's quite amazing!
Quicktime Movie
Quicktime Movie (4200k)
Quicktime Movie
Quicktime Movie (3000k)

Since the Quicktime Movies may take too long to download, the narration of our investigation is also available. RealAudio Soundfile (95k)

We used this excellent list of kite-related websites to research the topic before we began the investigation.

Jason's Web Kite Site
Anthony's Kite Workshop
Kites and Kite Flying
The Virtual Kite Zoo
Kite Terminology
Kite Terminology
Kite Flying Basics
Kite Names, Pictures, and Descriptions
Kite Plans on the Internet
More Kite Plans
Fly Me To The Moon - Kite altitude records.
Famous Historic Kite Flights
Science By Kite
Kites and Meteorology
Kites, Kids, and Education
Kite History
20 Kids, 20 Kites, 20 Minutes
KidKiteWeb
Kites in the Classroom
Let's Go Fly a Kite
Chinese Kites
Including Chinese Kite History
Kite Info on the Web
Bernoulli's Principle Airplane

Check the results of Amy's lichen investigation.
Amazing Investigation

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