Soaring in The Wind: The Science of Kite Flying

Flying kites is a popular hobby in Malaysia and very much part of the culture. This lesson looks at kite flying science to introduce basic ideas related to the dynamics of kite flying and can be used as an extension of a physics lesson, especially after the students have learned about forces. It will focus on some of the concepts such as weight, thrust, lift and drag. It is a fun way to introduce the forces acting upon a kite and the scientific principles that allow a kite to fly. The lesson is suitable for students in secondary school. It will help students relate to the effect of forces and gives an introduction to the science of flight. As an added value, the video will also share some information about Malaysian kites which are “tailless”. The Malaysian kite is called “Wau” (pronounced “wow”), and there are many distinctive designs since each Malaysian state has its own official Wau. Malaysia has 14 states. The break activities included are to be conducted in the classroom, and students are to work in small groups on the questions given in the lesson. Students are to carry out two simple experiments to study how air flows on a kite.