James A. Garfield High School Geometry Teacher
                                                   ~ GEOMETRY KITE PROJECT ~
3. . . 2. . . . 1. . .  Lift-off! Here we go! Hold on tight. You are about to take a flight with your very own kite designed and built by none other than YOU!
Over the next several of days, you and a partner will not only build a kite, but also research kite history, find kite plans, build that kite, decorate your kite, and of course TEST your kite outside!  A short paper is also involved in this project. This won't be easy, but fun is guaranteed! Remember your geometry skills while building your kite and writing your paper.


As a result of this project you will not only be an expert kite builder, but you will have some real world geometry experience! During this project you should keep in mind what we have learned about different geometric shapes, polyhedrons, angles, lines, and more.

You and a partner will find and research a particular kite plan (some webites are listed below) and then construct that kite following your plan.  You and your partner will also write a short summary, including your kite type, the geometry that is involved in your kite, any problems that you encountered while constructing the kite, and at least one fun fact you found while researching for your kite!


Choose one other person in this class whom you can work well with and if need be could get together outside of class time to complete this project.

Before getting started, read "How Kitesurfing Works" (link below) to review the physics of building a kite.  Your knowledge of this article must be reflected in your summary paper as well as your building of the kite.

Here's a couple of helpful hints to remember while searching for the perfect plan:
                   ~   Equilateral Triangular Kites do not seem to fly well. (They are hard to balance)
                  ~    Your kite must have some geometry ideas involved.        
                  ~    You are on a limited time schedule, don't build an airplane!
                  ~    You must work together!!!


1.   Geometry must be involved in the following ways:
      ~ Your kite should have at least two sets of either congruent figures or similar figures.
      ~ Your kite should be symmetrical!
      ~ You should have at least two types of angles used in your kite (with the exception of a box kite).
      ~ Your kite should have lines that you explain in your summary paper where they are at, i.e. parallel lines, perpendicular lines, or skew lines. 
      ~ You should be able to calculate the angle measurements and side lengths of your kite.  These measurements will be included in your summary paper.

2.  You have class time to complete your kite. You will have all of class time to work on this project, but you may need to work outside of class during the week and this weekend.

3.   Your ultimate goal is to get your kite to fly!!! That is, incorporate what you know and what you learned about physics from the articles and websites below. Be careful with your measurements and construction- you want to be as precise as possible.

FLYING YOUR KITE!!! After everything is done (with the exception of the paper) we will take a day to fly our kites. However, prior to flying your kite, check out the website called "Professor Kite and and the Secret of Kites." Once again, knowledge of this article needs to be reflected in your paper.


You should write a brief paper describing the process of researching, building, and flying your kite. Describe the parts that went well, the problems that you came across, and one fun fact that you learned while researching your kite.

The following is the guideline which your paper must follow:
1.  Explain your research methods. That is, in detail, tell about your method of finding and choosing the kite you chose. Also, include why you choose your kite. Make sure to list web sites or other sources you used.  

2.  Describe the building process of your kite. Make sure to involve some geometric ideas. Tell how you constructed angles, lines, shapes, etc. Explain the different types of lines that are included in your kite, and the different types of angles.

3. Give the side lengths and angle measurements of your kite (make sure you name your kite- label it on your kite, or draw a model in your paper and label it). The congruent side lengths should be within 1/2 inch of each other. The congruent angles should be within 3 degrees of each other (right angles should be within 3 degrees). Points will be deducted from the kite grade if not within these measurements. 

4.  Talk about kite history and what you learned about kites while researching them. Involve both science and math in this part of your paper. In this section you should show reflection of the first article (How Kitesurfing Works) you read during the project. This section should be at least 3 to 5 paragraphs.

5.  Give a short explanation on kite safety. Here you should reflect upon the last article you were to read. (Professor Kite...)

6.  Tell about your kite flying experience. Did it fly? Why or why not? What could of you have done differently?

7.  Finally, tell me about this project. What did you like, not like? What would you change? What was your favorite part? Your least favorite part? Tell me anything you would like to pertaining to this project. 

All of the above must be included in your paper; however, you may mix the order up.

The paper should be typed using 12 point font and 1 inch margins. The length of the paper is up to you - just make sure all information is clearly included!


After you have completed this project you will have had a real life application of geometry and math! I hope that you see how geometry relates to our everyday world in places we don't think it exists! In addition, you should better understand the concepts behind kites and why they fly. I hope you have an enjoyable geometry experience with kites!

Here we go!

Research                                   Wednesday and Thursday (4-14, 4-15)
   ~ for building your kite
   ~ for your summary paper

Kite Video                                  Friday (4-16)

Build                                         Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday
Rough Draft of paper                  (4-19 - 4-21)

Computer Lab                            Thursday (4-22)
    ~ paper
    ~ last minute kite details

Kite building                                Friday (4-23)
Rough Draft of paper                             

Fly your kite!                               Monday (4-26)

Computer lab                               Tuesday (4-27)
    ~ summary paper

Summary Paper due Wednesday April 28th during class!
            No late papers will be accepted.

If you are absent the day we fly the kites, you will have an alternative paper to write to make up for the points of the flight.

This idea was developed from observation of Mr. Jerry Moretz's  Geometry Class at Watauga High School while they were discussing kites.
In addition, we would like to thanks Mr. John Spagnolia for his technical help.
All of our graphics were found using Google image search or clip art from the Microsoft Office Suite.
The web pages used are plentifully; all that we used are linked above in the process unit.
Useful links
Last updated  2011/02/14 09:47:29 PSTHits  5594