Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Making Paper Airplanes

Tuesday at Kaiser School our First Graders worked on a science project, paper airplanes. They would make a plane, then we would go up to the upper yard and compete for distance. Well that was the plan.  The best laid plans of mice and men . . .

Ms. H used the overhead projector to show the children how to fold the paper to make an airplane. She did each fold. The other volunteer and I walked around checking the folds were crisp and in the right place.  From the first fold we had problems.

This shows some of the directions for the folding.  Ms. H had practiced, but it was not working.  The directions just were not working.  The points on the end of the planes vanished, lumps appeared in their place.  The creases of the folds never happened unless the adults made them.  I don't who was more frustrated, the children or the adults.  Ms. H called a halt to the making of planes.  The game plan changed.

Just on this one table you can see four different types of planes.  Yet from the same directions.

Ms. H made two planes, one larger than the other.  She would throw each plane 5 times, I would measure how far it went, and a student would record the distance.  She is holding two planes and the tape measure.  Before we came outside each student wrote a hypothesis on which plane would fly the furthest.

The larger plane is about to take off.  It was windy and there was a cross wind sometimes.  Some flights went 40 feet, others went straight up and straight down.

After averaging out the 5 flights of each plane, the smaller plane went the furthest.  The students decided the light plane has less drag.  Today they were going to make their own planes and compete for distance.

Science can be fun.

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