Paper Airplanes

April 28, 2020  |   Physics, Making, Problem-Solving

What starts out flat, requires some thought, and can fly? Paper airplanes!

Gabriella Perry launches this activity to discover the many ways you can make paper fly by using your hands and creativity. 

Materials | Supplies

  • construction or copy paper, magazine pages or newspaper
  • tape
  • pennies, paper clips, washers

Concepts Explored

  • gravity
  • drag and lift
  • Bernoulli principal
  • engineering

Discovery Starters

How can you make the plane fly further?

How does added weight affect the plane?

Will every design fly the same way? Why?

What happens if you slightly bend the wings?

Explore Further

Watch a bird flying. What is similar and what is different about how a bird flies and your plan flies?

Next time to see airplane, think about how it gets off the ground and stay in the air. 

Discover more about the Bernoulli Effect in this Amazeum YOU video. 

Additional Resources

The Big Book of Airplanes by DK

The Flying Book: Everything You've Ever Wondered About Flying on Airplanes by David Blatner

Planes Fly! by George Ella Lyon and Mick Wiggins

Teach Engineering website: Paper Airplanes

YouTube video: How to Make 5 Easy Paper Airplanes

Amazeum YOU Paper Airplane Activity Guide