Flying the Beam

A P-51.What did you do before the navigation apps on your smartphone? Just a few (OK, several) years ago we were all using paper road maps, or finding our way using local landmarks. But think about the lack of landmarks for a WWII fighter pilot navigating over open ocean toward a pinprick of an island. How would you do it?

Find out in Flying the Beam—one of 10 posted videos in the Chronicles of Courage series. The 20-video series from the partnership of NBC Learn and Flying Heritage Collection uses the collection’s WWII airplanes and aviation technology as their focal point.

Use the video as a backdrop for student investigations into the electromagnetic spectrum, Morse code and digital communication, GPS, and the mathematics of navigation. The NSTA-developed lesson plan for this video elaborates on some of these ideas and gives you more to incorporate this video into your science course as well as collaborations with social studies and English language arts.

Stay tuned during the upcoming break for more lesson plans that will help you prepare for the end-of-semester schedules that can leave you in need of real-world applications that are a bit out of the ordinary!

Chronicles of Courage: Stories of Wartime and Innovation “Flying the Beam” focuses on the use of low-frequency radio (LFR) range navigation during World War II.

STEM Lesson Plan—Adaptable for Grades 7–12

Chronicles of Courage: Stories of Wartime and Innovation “Flying the Beam” provides strategies for developing Science and Engineering Practices and support for building science literacy through reading and writing.

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