Torque is the twisting motion that affects all propeller-driven airplanes and helicopters. Learn more about torque in these hands-on activities.
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For Grades 9-12
By constructing a helicopter-inspired device and testing it to minimize the effects of torque, this lesson focuses on the concept of "torque" which is the twisting motion that affects propeller-driven airplanes and helicopters. This lesson also covers Newton's Third Law, as the students should realize through the activity that every action has an equal and opposite reaction through the movement of the helicopter responding to the rubber band rotations.
For Grades 6-12
Students follow simple directions to build a glider out of plastic cups and tape. This low-tech activity help students understand the effects of torque, Newton’s Third Law, the Magnus Effect, and Bernoulli's Principle. This activity is easily modified to focus on any of the above topics.