Props to Alaina – The Art of Airplane Propellers
Grades: 9 - 12

Video Description: Alaina Lewis went to college to be a cosmetologist, but her successful business today is quite a departure from that original plan. She crafts beautiful airplane propellers out of maple, birch, cherry, mahogany and other woods in her workshop. She’s built thousands and no two are ever the same. Alaina makes careful measures to ensure her propellers meet her customers’ every flying need. It’s a skill she learned from her crop duster grandfather. And, she seems to be passing the love of the craft down to the next generation.

Type of Video: Story*
Unique Video ID: Visual Arts-252**

Quick Ideas for Using the Video:

  • Use the video as part of a career exploration unit in the arts. What can students learn about business practices that might influence their ability to have a career that is “artistic” even if not “art” by some people’s perspective?
  • Have students create an art project inspired by the propeller. What shapes will they employ? What colors? What form? What medium? Why did they make those choices. Include an artist’s statement with the finished piece.


*Story videos employ a narrative form to highlight a topic, location, or practitioner in the area of study.

**The unique Video ID can be used to quickly locate a single video in the ET collection. This search function is designed to let teachers assign students to watch a specific video and have only that video appear as a search result. Just click on Search and choose “By Video ID.” Then type in the Video ID as it appears above. Be sure to include the dash.