Scrap Paper Airplanes

Last week, at the Brookdale Library we hosted an event where we invited 3rd-6th graders to come fold and fly paper airplanes. 

A mass of airplanes that we tested.

We selected six different types of airplanes, trying to find ones that were easy to fold, flew well and were unique in some way. There were six tables, one per plane. Each table had a volunteer that was willing and able to teach the folds. There were also printed instructions so that the students could practice folding them at home. 

The students got to decorate their planes.
In an adjacent empty room, we put tape on the floor so that folders could see how far their creations flew. Some of them went all the way across the room. That's over 30 feet!

We competed for distance.
W also made personalized certificates for all the students that folded four or more different airplanes. I thought this had a nice touch, since it actually reflected what they did. Often, certificates like this overstate a participant's skills, but I honestly think that all the students who got a certificate can fold a paper airplane.
It's official, I'm a Paper Airplane Engineer!

All in all, this was an awesome event and was well attended. We had students running around for the whole time we had the tables set up. The testing room had airplanes flying constantly, too.

I think I'll suggest we repeat this event sometime in the future.

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