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Air Traffic Control (ATC) Lessons/Activities

  • SmartSkies™ - Developed as a key part of the NASA Airspace Systems Program's educational efforts, SmartSkies features an interactive Air Traffic Control (ATC) simulator that enables students to apply proportional reasoning to make decisions and resolve conflicts in realistic air traffic control problems involving two or more planes.  The challenge in each problems is to "line up" the planes safely, with proper spacing, on time, at a given intersection of jet routes.  Currently, SmartSkies offers two math products:  FlyBy Math™ (includes new FlyBy Math simulator) and LineUp with Math™. (grades 5-9)
    (For additional math-related problems, visit NASA's Space Math.)

Forces of Flight/Science of Flight

  • How Things Fly (from Smithsonian National Air & Space Museum) - In this interactive online exhibition, visitors can explore the flight environment, aerodynamics, propulsion, structures and materials, flight dynamics and see the forces of flight in action.
  • NASA's Virtual Skies -- Enjoy this online interactive program introducing the key concepts in the world of aviation. Virtual Skies is comprised of six modules centered on key aviation concepts such as the science of aeronautics, navigation, and air traffic management.  Virtual Skies includes beautiful color graphics, problem-solving applications, a “Teacher’s Desk” guide to the online program, and an extensive glossary that supports and reinforces the concepts taught in CAP’s Aerospace textbooks.
  • Theory of Flight - Select from different topics to learn about the science of flight.  (from the Aviation History Online Museum)
  • Explanations for the Generation of Lift - Learn the correct explanation as well as 3 popular incorrect theories.
  • Aerodynamics of Paper Airplanes - This includes a nice explanation of the forces of flight and surface controls. It also has very nice illustrations.
  • Forces of Flight- Airplanes- This easy explanation page was submitted by the Jefferson District Library's Teen Zone students where they are lots of other great educational links for teens!

General Aviation-Related Lessons/Resources


History of Flight

  • America's First Jet Flight - Watch this 7-minute video that tells about America's first jet flight in October of 1942.
  • America By Air - Learn about and compare historical flight in America to the present day through these interactive pages. Select from categories including: Fly Across America, Online Exhibition, Objects & Images, Activities, Stories, In the News, and Behind the Scenes. (Smithsonian National Air & Space Museum)
  • Aviators - Visit this page for links to information, pictures, etc., regarding a variety of historical aviators.
  • Flight-History is dedicated to developing an extensive on-line archive of aviation history.
  • History of Flight (from Hero to the Wright Brothers)
  • Here is a great 10-minute YouTube video about the history of airplanes. Learn more about the Wright Brothers' design and airplane engines.
  • Aviation History Videos (from EAA)
  • Smithsonian Air & Space Magazine - Select from a number of articles to read about the history of aviation.

Paper Airplanes:

Types of Aircraft


  • AirNav.Com - "The pilot's window into a world of aviation information." Look up airport information, navaids, current weather, and much more!
  • Airport Lookup - This page allows you to find any airport in any state.; You can also view a VFR and IFR chart, and you can see a satellite view of the airport area.
  • Aviation Trivia - This is a neat resource with a variety of airplane information. Find aerospace news, airplane sounds, airplane pictures, airplane trivia, and more!


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