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

Aug 20, 2018

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.

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.
Credit Courtesy of the National Park Service

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.