iSTEM Elective Module 5 Aerodynamics – Aerodynamic design solutions


Students Learn To

  • develop engineered solutions to meet detailed specifications
  • evaluate results from testing to improve aerodynamic performance of engineered solutions

STEM Learning Activities and Units of Work

Below are a number of suggested STEM learning activities that can be used throughout the Aerodynamics module. Note there are a number of units of work that are also associated with the Aerodynamics elective module. These include;  Aerodynamics – CASE, Aerodynamics – SPCC and NESA Water Rockets.



Suggested Activity 1: The Bottle Rocket Challenge

The Bottle Rocket Challenge has been developed by the STEM Industry School Partnerships (SISP) Program in collaboration with Design Nutstm. The challenge is a great way to demonstrate the different aspects of the iSTEM process leading to the development of an innovative solution to an aerodynamics problem.

A two video series has been produced to help step students through the iSTEM process whilst designing a Bottle Rocket.

Click the resources button below to find resources to support the Bottle Rocket Challenge.

Suggested Activity 2: Skylap

Skylap uses the fascination of flight to motivate students to develop their own aircaft design. There are so many variables that the only one way to see if it will fly is to test it. How much lift does it achieve? How fast is it? How do small modifications affect its flight behavior? All these things are tested using the Power Anchor. Students begin by making a simple aircraft and test it for speed, weight and lift using the Power Anchor. The results become a baseline for further modifications.

Note This project requires the purchase of the Power Anchor or Power STEM device available from Designability Group. The project has rich in engineering content, backed up with Skylap materials kits, a full set of teaching resources including student notes and teacher notes plus classroom video with demonstrations plus all the consumables to run the project with confidence. To find out more visit 

Suggested Activity 3: CO2 Dragsters

CO2 dragsters are cars used by miniature racing cars which are propelled by a carbon dioxide cartridge, pierced to start the release of the gas, and which race on a 20 metre track. They are frequently used to demonstrate mechanical principles such as massforceacceleration, or aerodynamics. Two hooks (eyelets or screw eyes) linked to a fishing line on the bottom of the car prevent the vehicle from losing control during launch. In a race, senors record the time taken to reach the end of the track. Often, the dragster is carved out of balsa wood because of its light weight.


Click the resources button below to find resources to support the CO2 Dragsters Learning Activity.



Aeronautical Velocity Challenge Competition Document 2 MB
The Aeronautical Velocity Challenge Competition document from 2015 gives teachers a great framework to run a school based event. It includes general rules and conditions as well as a judges sheet which can be easily adapted to your school.


Design and make an aircraft and test it using the PowerAnchor.
The PowerAnchor is the smartest way to test vehicle and aircraft design projects.
The all new PowerAnchor with remote controls, snap on legs, data logger, rechargeable battery takes PowerStem projects to the next level.