Mrs. Nelson's Kites are Tight!

Designed and Built by Kimberly Nelson

Imagine It! Build It! Fly It!

I chose the diamond kite for its simplicity and because I fly this type of kite with my kids all the time.  It is easy to make and remains stable in moderate winds.  The diamond kite is probably the most recognizable design for a kite.  It usually contains two sticks that are perpendicular to each other; this is why many refer to it as a two-stick kite.  My design will not be bowed - it will be flat instead.  This will make it easier to find the surface area and perimeter I think.

Diamond Kite Blue Print

In math class I built model versions of the diamond kite, a Della Porta kite, a bermuda kite, and a delta kite.  Building the smaller models helped me in a number of ways.  First, it helped me understand which kites would be more complex to build and which would not.  The diamond kite was fairly easy to built compared to the other kites.  And second, building the model kite helped me determine how I might go about finding the surface area and perimeter of each kite - where I would need to take my measurements. 

Diamond Kite Supply List

Duct Tape, Two 4 foot dowell rods for crossbars (One will be cut to 3 feet), About 10 square feet of tissue Paper, masking tape, 20 feet of string for bridle and kite string, and a pencil or pop sickle stick.

Decomposing the Shapes to Find Surface Area

My kite decomposes into two triangles, although 4 triangles are shown on the blueprint.

Finding Surface Area

The formula for area of a triangle is 1/2 b x h. The base was 4 feet and the height was 1.25 feet for the left half of the kite. The surface area for the left side is 2.5 square feet, but there is also a right side that is identical. So, I multiplied 2.5 sq feet by 2 to get a total Surface Area of 5 square feet.

Finding Perimeter

After measuring all the sides of my diamond kite, I added all the measurements up and found out that the total perimeter was 7.6 feet.  The measurements were 0.8, 0.8, 3.0, and 3.0 feet.

Kite Word Problems

Problem 1: In 1820 George Pocock connected several large kites to a carriage and pulled it from Southhampton to London. Since road taxes were based on the number of horses used to pull a carriage, he was able to avoid any taxes! The 60 mile trip took two hours. Modern kite buggies now go twice as fast but seldom go as far. How fast was the carriage moving? By my calculations, the carriage was moving BLANK miles per hour.
Problem 2: In the year 169 BC, the Chinese General Han Hsin used a kite to measure the distance between his camp and the wall of the enemy city. His soldiers then dug a tunnel the same distance in order to crawl under the wall and attack from inside. The city was conqured by a kite! How can you measure a minimum distance with a kite? By, blah blah blah and blah blah blah.