Teacher's Desk

The purpose of NASA’s Virtual Skies (VS) website is to provide an engaging, yet informal, way to present aviation topics to students. The target audience is high school students, although academically advanced middle schoolers and college students have also found the site useful. In addition, after school programs, home schools, and civil aviation clubs have successfully used Virtual Skies as a supplement to their regular educational and enrichment programs.

In each of the six content Modules (not including Aviation Research), your students will acquire and employ decision-making and collaborative skills while applying principles of algebra, geometry and calculus. The science portion of these cross-curricular materials includes concepts involved in RADAR, sound and meteorology as it applies to flight. Each section includes on-line activities complemented by downloadable print materials (PDF files) that can be used in the classroom to supplement the geography, mathematics and science concepts.

In general, VS Modules have 5 chapters:

Each module can be used as a stand-alone lesson. However, those educators that would like to teach the entire VS curriculum are encouraged to introduce them in the order they are displayed in the Main Menu, starting with Aeronautics and ending with Airport Design.

Classroom teachers who have school or district Internet firewalls to contend with, you can download the entire Virtual Skies website to use on any computer and browser you wish. Click here for instructions on how to do that.

NASA Ames Education Division introduced the Virtual Skies web site in 2002 with original funding provided by Aviation Operations Systems and the Aerospace Education Coordinating Committee (AECC). VS was refreshed in 2009 with Aeronautic Research Mission Directorate funds.

Please Note: All of the following educational print materials are available as Adobe Acrobat PDF files. Click on the links below to download the files.

Selections of Activities
Activities Teacher Versions Student Versions
Aeronautics Evolution of Flight

Physics of Flight
Evolution of Flight

Physics of Flight
Airport Design Airport Design

Travel and Disease
Airport Design

Travel and Disease
Air Traffic Management (ATM) Determining the Locus of a Flight Plan Determining the Locus of a Flight Plan
Communication How does a Radio Work? How does a Radio Work?
Navigation Tools of Navigation Tools of Navigation
Research Flight Delays Flight Delays
Weather Weather Charts

Weather Statistics
Weather Charts

Weather Statistics