KiteModeler was developed in an effort to foster hands-on, inquiry-based learning in science and math. KiteModeler is a simulator that models the design, trimming, and flight of a kite. The program works in three modes: Design Mode, Trim Mode, or Flight Mode. In the Design Mode (shown below), you pick from five basic types of kite designs. You can then change design variables including the length and width of various sections of the kite. You can also select different materials for each component. When you have a design that you like, you switch to the Trim Mode where you set the length of the bridle string and tail and the location of the knot attaching the bridle to the control line. Based on your inputs, the program computes the center of gravity and pressure, the magnitude of the aerodynamic forces and the weight, and determines the stability of your kite. With a stable kite design, you are ready for Flight Mode. In Flight Mode you set the wind speed and the length of control line. The program then computes the sag of the line caused by the weight of the string and the height and distance that your kite would fly. Using all three modes, you can investigate how a kite flies, and the factors that affect its performance.
RocketModeler was developed at the NASA Glenn Research Center in an effort to foster hands-on, inquiry-based learning in science and math. RocketModeler is a simulator that models the design and flight of a model rocket. The program works in two modes: Design Mode or Flight Mode. In the Design Mode, you can change design variables including the size of the rocket body, the fins, and the nose cone. You can also select different materials for each component. You can select from a variety of standard solid rocket engines. The program computes the center of gravity and pressure for your rocket and determines the stability. When you have a design that you like, you can switch to the Flight Mode (shown below), where you can launch your rocket and observe its flight trajectory. You can pause at any time to record data and then continue the flight through parachute deploy and recovery. This program has recently (Oct 8, 2004) been upgraded to support stomp rockets, bottle rockets, and ballistic shells in addition to solid model rockets. It also supports both English and metric units.