What do fish and airplanes have in common?
Since water is roughly 750 times more dense than air, a fish must overcome an incredible amount of drag in order to stay in motion. Although airplanes don't have much of a problem with this, they must keep themselves off the ground which requires overcoming the force of gravity. As we can see, flying and swimming are very different.
Dr. Grant helped us understand that the speeds of both airplanes and fish increase with a greater length to width ratio.
Each student built a paper airplane and measured how far it could fly.
Next, they measured the planes' length to width ratios and compared them on a graph to how far they flew. For the most part, we observed that the long and skinny planes flew the furthest.
Then, the students measured the length to width ratios of several differently shaped fish. We couldn't race the fish, so we predicted the relative speed of varying fish based on these ratios by knowing the similarities between fish and airplane propulsion.