Education programs

Interactive Education Programs








The Discovery of Flight Foundation has had great success with school assemblies. Pleaase read below for an description of our program, and contact us if you’re interested in our presentation coming to your school (travel costs required).

Shapes, ratios, angles, measurement, formulas. All things you learn about in math class. But can you fly with this stuff? The answer is that you can’t fly without it. Orville and Wilbur Wright knew this. Their first flight of December 17, 1903 was really the answer to a set of math problems. Using historic pictures, animation, historic film, modern video, hands-on Wright airplane parts, and a full-scale flight simulator, this presentation takes mathematic concepts familiar and traces their use as the Wright brothers invented the airplane.

It begins with illustrating the work of the Wright brothers with the reproductions of the Wright Experience, who build and fly aircraft exactly as it was done 100 years ago. Students will learn about the different forces that work on an airplane, and how the Wright brothers built a series of gliders to learn what makes an airplane fly – and what keeps it from flying! The Wright brothers learn how to make their machines light and strong, and then learn how to fly. The presentation incorporates reproduction ribs, fabric and a propeller from the 1903 Flyer for students to touch and hold. With video of the reproduction Flyer, students will hear it run, and see it fly – there were no movie cameras around on December 17, 1903! They will also see the real Wright brothers themselves flying at Fort Myer, Virginia in 1909 – on their way to Alexandria in the first Military airplane.

The presentation concludes with two demonstrations – flying the a simulator of the Wright 1911 Model B from Fort Myer. Two or three students (preselected) will be given the chance to learn how to use the Wright brothers controls. The second demonstration will be of an actual flying airplane – an electric radio control model that can be flown right in the room.