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This 5-minute video explains how modern sailboats move forward by generating lift. The video explores the aerodynamic forces generated by two parts of the sailboat: the sails and the keel. These forces, when properly adjusted by the sailor, counteract each other to generate forward movement.
Editor's Note: Old World sailboats relied on wind to push them forward. Modern sailboats are much more complicated, and offer a great opportunity to explore Bernoulli's Principle, lift, and drag. See Related Materials for a teaching module on the physics of sailing and an article from "Physics Central" that explains how to sail faster than the wind speed.
Teachers' Domain is an NSF-funded pathway of the National Science Digital Library (NSDL). It is a growing collection of videos, lessons, and activities compiled by researchers and experienced teachers to promote the use of digital resources in the classroom.
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AAAS Benchmark Alignments (2008 Version)
4. The Physical Setting
8. The Designed World
8B. Materials and Manufacturing
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Teachers' Domain: The Physics of Sailing:
Covers the Same Topic As Physclips: The Physics of Sailing
This resource from Physclips provides in-depth content support on the topic of sailboat dynamics.relation by Caroline Hall
Covers the Same Topic As Science Daily: Physics of Sailing
This 1.5-minute video tackles the question of how modern sailboats can generate speeds greater than the wind speed.relation by Caroline Hall
Supplements TryEngineering: Sail Away
A classroom activity for grades 6-10 in which students construct, test, and reconfigure a model sailboat that will hold a set weight, harness wind energy from a fan, and move one meter.relation by Caroline Hall
Covers the Same Topic As Teach Engineering: May the Force Be With You - Lift
A 50-minute lesson for Grades 5-7 on how airplane wings are designed, using Bernoulli's Principle to create lift.relation by Caroline Hall
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