How does the aerodynamics, or shape, of an object moving through the air increase or decrease the friction (drag) on that object? In this lesson we explore the four (4) forces of aerodynamics: Lift, Weight, Thrust, and Drag. We will discuss these different forces and describe how each of them works with or against a vehicle.

For the experimental portion of this lesson students will be asked to design, using foam pieces, different shaped objects that will be put into a homemade wind tunnel to test how they interact with the air. Using a spring scale students will attach their shapes into the wind tunnel and record the amount of drag that is being placed on their shapes.

Lesson Downloads

Curriculum Standards

Health & Physical Education

  • 2.1.8.A.3
  • 2.2.8.A.2
  • 2.2.8.B.2
  • 2.2.8.C.1


  • CCSS.Math.Practice.MP4
  • CCSS.Math.Practice.MP7
  • CCSS.Math.Content.6.NS.B.3
  • CCSS.Math.Content.6.G.A.4
  • CCSS.Math.Content.7.G.B.6
  • CCSS.Math.Content.8.G.B.7


  • 5.2.6.E.3
  • 5.1.8.A.2
  • 5.1.8.B.[1&2]
  • 5.1.8.D.[1-3]
  • 5.2.8.E.1


  • 8.2.8.B.[1-3]

Life & Career Skills

  • 9.1.8.A.1
  • 9.1.8.A.4
  • 9.1.8.B.1
  • 9.1.8.C.[1-3]

Sustainable Hunterdon

For more information about
Sustainable Hunterdon contact
Jodi Bettermann 
(908) 788-5553