Materials List: Inquiry and Engineering:

Each group needs:

  • an assortment of physical materials and tools, from which to build glider models; each group determines and procures its own materials and equipment; material suggestions (not to exceed $30 per group) include foam core poster board, balsa wood, duct and electrical tape, hot and regular white glue, various types of paper, and scissors and utility knives or box cutters; tip: while students are given their choice of materials, impose a $30 budget for each team's project, giving bonus points for the least expensive prototype; it works well to provide some common materials for all groups, such as the foam core board or access to tape and glue
  • computer access, either one per student or one per group
  • (optional) computer-aided design program, such as Inventor, which available for free download for student use at or SolidWorks (student license available for ~$150 at; note: while creating a digital/CAD design is not required for the project, doing so gives students an opportunity to work with the types of programs used by present-day engineers
  • (optional) Project Contract, one per student
  • Glider Project Overview, one per student
  • Research Evidence Handout, one per student
  • Draft and Materials Handout, one per student
  • (optional) Materials List Template Excel® file, one per group
  • Glider Rubric, one per student
  • Final Report Rubric, one per student
  • pencils and paper for every student (for the pre-activity assessment)

To share with the entire class:

glider launcher, as shown in Figure 1, made according to the Glider Launcher 3D Printer Drawings —a design that requires the use of a 3D printer and the following materials, OR if no access to a 3D printer, your own glider launching device inspired by this design.

model glider; it is recommended that you create a model glider to use in demonstrating the launching mechanism; an alternate, but less advisable, option is to obtain a pre-made glider to demonstrate the expected flight pattern, such as this 6-inch long plastic and cardboard model

digital scale or triple beam balance, to measure glider model masses