# How Mosquitoes Fly in the Rain

Dr. David Hu
Assistant Professor of Mechanical Engineering and Biology
Georgia Institute of Technology
Atlanta, Georgia

Lesson vetted and approved by CPALMS

In this lesson, we learn how insects can fly in the rain. The objective is to calculate the impact forces of raindrops on flying mosquitoes. Students will gain experience with using Newton's laws, gathering data from videos and graphs, and most importantly, the utility of making approximations. No calculus will be used in this lesson, but familiarity with torque and force balances is suggested. No calculators will be needed, but students should have pencil and paper to make estimations and, if possible, copies of the graphs provided with the lesson. Between lessons, students are recommended to discuss the assignments with their neighbors.

この授業では、昆虫がどうやって雨の中を飛ぶのかを学びます。目標は、飛んでいる蚊に対する雨粒の衝撃力を計算することです。生徒さんは、ニュートンの法則を利用する経験、ビデオやグラフからデータ収集する経験を得られ、そして最も重要なことは、概算の有用性について経験できます。微積分はこの授業では使われませんが、トルクと力平衡についての知識は必要となってきます。計算機は必要ありませんが、生徒さんには概算するために紙と鉛筆と、可能であれば、授業の付録であるグラフのコピーを用意してください。授業の合間には、生徒さんが隣の生徒と課題について話し合うことをお勧めします。

David Hu is a mechanical engineer who studies the locomotion of animals. He is particularly interested in how animals use specialized surfaces such as water-repellent fur and snakeskin. David has studied how snakes slither, how insects walk on water, and how small insects fly in the rain. Videos and images used in our work may be found on my website: http://www.me.gatech.edu/hu/

This site, Smithsonian.com’s “Surprising Science” blog, provides a very comprehensive discussion of the research done by Professor Hu and his lab.
http://blogs.smithsonianmag.com/science/2012/06/how-do-mosquitoes-fly-in-the-rain/

This is the site of Video Tracker, a free video analysis and modeling tool built on the Open Source Physics (OSP) Java framework. It is designed to be used in physics education and is recommended by Professor Hu.
http://www.cabrillo.edu/~dbrown/tracker/

Here you will find “10 Cool Facts You Didn’t Know about Mosquitoes” on the About.com website.