Design Challenge: Paper Planes






In today’s WSJ (Thursday May 17, 2012), there is an article titled “Paper Plane Champ Watches His Record Fly, Fly Away” about a controversy in the competitive paper plane world. This reminded me of a time someone suggested that a paper plane exercise could serve as a basis for a YCISL exercise.

The article mentions an iPad app – which I have downloaded. The base version of the app shows how to fold three types of paper planes: Stunt (flips), Dart (distance), Eagle (hang time).

This also reminds me of a scene where kids throw paper planes off a building where the paper has something written in it.

I am thinking that we would use such an exercise for younger students, or perhaps a preview event. Three attempts? Three paper planes? Team or individual?

Could we use recycled material for this exercise? Would newspaper work? Could we use aluminum foil that has been used previously in the chute exercise?

Perhaps as a parallel type exercise, students could design a trebuchet or crossbow or a stomp rocket or a finger blaster or a mentor rocket (reminder, use eye protection).

Could this be set up as a fundraising competition (like a walkathon) where a person is sponsored by the number of paper airplanes made or the time a plane hangs in the air or the distance it flies?

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