How Does A Wing Actually Work?

More than 100,000 commercial flights take off every day, but how do the planes fly? Veritasium presents a video explaining the way wings work. It opens with the common misconception, then introduces two seemingly conflicting explanations. Finally, it resolves the conflict so both explanations work.

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CCSS: Adaptable
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Instructional Ideas
  • Relate the experiment to paper airplane wings, which are usually flat rather than curved
  • Extend the lesson to helicopter wings, their shape, and how they work
Classroom Considerations
  • Relies on prior knowledge of Newtonian physics and Bernoulli's Principle
  • Includes closed captioning in six languages for ELLs
  • Demonstrates multiple ways to approach a problem
  • None