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Education

Teachers: You Can Use The Wright Brothers To Teach Math With These Lesson Plans

Sculpture of the Wright Brothers first flight at the Wright Brothers National Memorial in Kill Devil Hills
Courtesy of the National Park Service
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A sculpture of the Wright Brothers at the Wright Brothers National Memorial in Kill Devil Hills. Teachers who visit the Memorial can now use 16 lesson plans based on the historic flight to teach a variety of subjects.

Students across North Carolina learn that the Wright Brothers took their first flight in Kitty Hawk, but park rangers at the Wright Brothers National Memorial want teachers to draw on that story beyond 4th and 8th grade state history classes.

Four Dare County elementary and middle school teachers have teamed up with staff at the National Memorial to develop a series of lesson plans based on Orville and Wilbur Wright’s historic flight to teach a variety of subjects.

“We have math, we have science, we have technology, language arts, fine arts, even, that these lesson plans address,” said Jin Prugsawan, the supervisory park ranger at the Wright Brothers National Memorial.  “So students can learn about the Wright Brothers and the history of it, but then they can also learn about the science behind things.”

For example, students can do “trial runs” by foot in an open field to mimic the Wright Brothers’ early flight trials and then learn to use the same algebraic formulas they used to calculate the distance, speed and time of their flight.

Dare County teachers are excited about the new education program at Wright Brothers National Memorial! Their lesson plans will provide access to on and off-site educational opportunities for students across North Carolina
Credit Courtesy of the National Park Service
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From left to right, Dare County teachers Debbie Dickerson, Heather Barton, Shannon Brinkley, and Mary Winstead at the Wright Brothers National Memorial. The four teachers helped develop the 16 Wright-themed lesson plans now available on the National Park Service's website.

Prugsawan says the 16 lesson plans are designed to be used during class field trips to the memorial or in classrooms. The plans are appropriate for a variety of grades and align with national teaching standards.

The lesson plans are available free at the National Park Service's website.

Teachers planning field trips to the Wright Brothers National Memorial can look forward to the re-opening of its visitors’ center on September 29. The center has been closed for renovations and the installation of new interactive exhibits.

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