# Friction Lab Racing Wings Activity Background

A race team is looking to change the design of the wing on the back of their formula 1 car to reduce the amount of drag created by the wing on the rear of the car.  Drag occurs as air moves past a solid surface limiting the cars ability to reach its maximum speed.

What could be more fun than your students making things that they fly in the classroom? In this lab activity your students will learn about drag and friction. Feel free to let your more advanced students create their own wings to test instead of just using our standard cutouts in the templates.

I like to make this a competition. I let the different groups design and create their own wings after I use the templates provided to show make and show them a sample. The team that has the longest flight time (drop time) wins! Who can create the most drag for their wings.

## Friction Lab Racing Wings Learning Objectives:

• To investigate the length of the wing size and drag.

## Racing Wings Friction Lab Set Up:

Time allowance: 30 minutes

Grouping: Pairs or threes

## Friction Lab Racing Wings Lab Materials:

1. stopwatch
2. paper helicopters (see resource page)
3. paper clip
4. meter ruler

## Friction Racing Wings Lab Procedure:

1. Cut out and assemble the four helicopters from the resource page according to the instructions.
2. Attach a paper clip to one of the helicopters.
3. One group member holds the helicopter with the paperclip at a height of 2 meters with the paperclip end pointing towards the floor.
4. Release the helicopter and time how long it takes to reach the ground.
5. Record your results in the table.
6. Repeat three times before testing helicopters of other wing lengths.

## Post-lab Questions:

1. Answer the questions that follow:
• Order the wings based on their drop time.
• Outlying data is data which does not fit within the pattern of the data. Identify any outlying data in your experiment.
• How does the presence of an outlier affect the overall trend shown?
• Describe how you could treat outlying data if it were present in your tests.
2. Graph the average drop time from 2 meters in relation to wingspan in the space below. Place time on the x-axis.
3. Use your graph to predict the speed of a helicopter with a wingspan of 3.5cm
4. Formulate a conclusion. Use your data to write a conclusion which answers your hypothesis for this lab.

## Friction PDFs

Friction Lab Worksheets PDF

## Friction Worksheets - Word Docs & PowerPoints

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