Paper Airplane Challenge

So we finally had our first STEM challenge completion today. It was so much fun for me to watch the kids work together. Some kids had experience with paper airplanes and some had never made a paper airplanes before. This is how the project went:

First, the children practiced making different types of paper airplanes. Then I separated them into teams of 2 or 3. They worked together to come up with a team name. There were four rounds to the challenge. Before we began the challenge they had an opportunity to make as many airplanes as they could in 30 minutes and then we went outside and tested all of our airplanes to decide which ones they wanted to use for the each round. 

Round 1 – The Target Round-I drew a target on the chalkboards on the playground. The start line was about 10 feet away. One member from each team threw a plane, with the goal being to land it as close to the target as possible. 

Round 2- Hang-Time Round-  One member from each team threw a plane while I used a stopwatch to time how long it stayed in the air, with the goal being to fly as long as possible. It makes no difference where the plane landed, only how much time it stayed airborne.

Round 3- Accuracy Round- I drew a straight line on the sidewalk and then made a starting point along the path. One member from each team threw a plane along the path, with the goal being to land the plane as close to the middle of the path (the straight line) as possible. It made no difference how far the planes traveled, only how accurate they were in relation to the path. There was a minimum distance for a throw to count so that students didn’t simply drop the plane on the path.

Round 4- Distance- In the final round, we used an open area and assigned a starting spot. One member from each team threw a plane, with the goal being for the plane to fly as far as possible.

Each team either scored 1st, 2nd or 3rd place in each round. 1st place earned 10pts, 2nd place 9 pts and 3rd place 8pts. After each team completed each round I added the total points to find a “winner”. Afterwards we discussed what was fun and what was difficult about this challenge. Many children said making the airplanes was the most challenging. Some students thought a little deeper and said things like “It was hard because when we practiced with a plane and decided to use it for a certain round, it didn’t always work as well as it did when we tested it. It all depended on the weather and the person who threw the airplane.”

This was my first time doing this challenge and I really think it went well. 🙂

Tom’s grandmother also visited us this morning and continued with her 5 senses gifts. Today she brought us sand from Israel and sea shells from Israel. She brought things to make necklaces with so the children were each able to make a necklace. It was such a thoughtful and nice gift. I really enjoy her visits and the children do too!

 Enjoy some of the pictures from our day.