Flight: A Look at Flight in Slow Motion
a video clip of monarch flight in slow motion. The action is slowed down
50 times, to only 2% normal speed. In other words, each moment lasts fifty
times longer than it did in reality. This means that the half second of
monarch flight recorded here is stretched out to last 25 seconds.
or “flapping” flight, monarchs flap their wings about 5 to
12 times a second, depending on how hard they’re trying to move.
They flap at the slower rate when flying leisurely, such as during migration.
The faster rate is needed when flying into a strong headwind, or when
trying to escape from a predator, for example.
- How many
times does the monarch flap in the half second video? Count the number
of full strokes the butterfly takes.
- Do you
think it was flying leisurely—or trying to get away from the photographer?
- When watching
slow motion flight, what do you see that you’ve never noticed
before? Record all the new things that you see.
- If a monarch
flaps its wings 5 to 12 times per second, how many times per minute
does it flap? How many times can you flap your arms in a minute?
Clips and the Scientific Process
Observation is the first step in the scientific process. Video clips provide
an opportunity for students to make authentic scientific observations. Here
are some suggestions for viewing video clips as a scientist:
Science Education Standards
instruments, such as magnifiers, thermometers, and rulers, provide more
information than scientists obtain using only their senses. (K-4)
- An organism's
behavior patterns are related to the nature of that organism's environment.
meanings of operations and how they relate to one another.
numbers, ways of representing numbers, relationships among numbers,
and number systems.
fluently and make reasonable estimates.
problems that arise in mathematics and in other contexts.