Saturday, July 28, 2012

Paper Airplane Races

Do you remember flying paper airplanes as a kid?  Folding them different ways and seeing who could come up with the best airplane?  Well, me and the boys checked out a book from the library that taught us the physics behind the fun.  Today we thought we would have a little paper airplane experiment and learn the different ways that lift, thrust, drag, and gravity effect the flight of the airplane.  Of course they don't remember them quite in those terms, but they did learn what makes the airplane go higher or nose dive, what makes it loop and what makes it go straight.  Elementary physics - check. :)

Just in case you can't remember how to fold a paper airplane here is a little refresher in pictures.  I think I missed one step in the pictures, but hopefully this will get you on track so you can have your own paper airplane physics lesson fun.

Note, the pilot in my son's plane?  They also learned about how far he could fly before autoeject takes place.  :)

We made our planes out of heavy duty cardstock because we wanted to anticipate the nose dives and hopefully save the plane for a little while.  After doing several run throughs with the plane folded like the above pictures we made a few modifications including adding a paperclip and trying it closer to the nose versus middle versus rear; folding up the sides of the wings; and cutting slits in the back.  We tried the rear slits folded up and folded down for different effects.


Cheap, easy, educational fun at its best.


**Dragonfly Designs Giveaway ends 8/2!  Don't miss out.**

40 comments:

  1. Hi I'm a new follower who found you through Mom's Monday Mingle. My daughter loves paper airplanes as well. She always gets her dad to make her a bunch for her and the neighbors. I should get them some card stock to make them out of.

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    1. Glad to have you! My son decided next time he wants to decorate his plane and give it a custom paint job. :)

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  2. What a fun idea!! I love it!!!! I'm going to look for that book!

    Lori
    http://dancingmom-lori.blogspot.com/

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    1. So glad you stopped by. Gonna go check out your site.

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  3. What fun! I think we could get hours of creativity and 'un-wired' fun out of that at our house.

    Thanks for joining in the Weekend Blog Walk.

    Jessica @ At Home Take 2

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    1. Thanks! Yes, my youngest son has carried his paper airplane out a couple of times since then. lol

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  4. I love making paper airplanes! They're so much fun during a boring class! New follower from the ILMOF hop, would love the follow back!

    <3Hima
    My Musings

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    1. Thanks for the follow! I'll come check out your page!

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  5. How fun! Brings back a lot of childhood memories! I definitely can't wait to do things like this with my little man :) Thank you for the follow! Following back :) Have a great week!!

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    1. They grow so fast it will feel like tomorrow that you are doing this. :(

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  6. Oh man, paper airplanes! We used to make some crazy contraptions when we were kids to see what would work best. Thanks for the stroll down memory lane. :)

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  7. New follower from MMM. My oldest son actually did a science project using paper airplanes. I was desperate to find a topic he was interested in! We had a lot of fun making many different styles to see what would fly the best. :-)

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    1. That's awesome! My youngest son picked out a piece of camo scrapbook paper and wants to make another one. I think I started something lol.

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  8. Participating in Mom's Monday Mingle for the first time & I'm your newest follow! :)

    Kristina
    http://www.yomichaelmichael.com

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  9. Super cute, and such a good idea :) Husband and I went to Henry Ford Museum and they had this station where you could build your own paper airplanes and fly them and see how far they would go. I was horrible, but the paper was definitely not heavy duty card stock. Thanks for sharing. I'm your newest follower from the hop. Come check out my blog and follow along totally_rachel

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  10. Hello. Just stopping by from the Blog Hop. You've made a follower out of me!

    ~Danette
    "All My Love for All My Days"

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  11. These are awesome! I never learned how to make these things. Thanks for sharing girl! So trying it with my little guy!
    Your newest follower,
    -Jen
    http://www.littlemissalizzi.com/

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    1. He will be addicted. :) Followed ya back.

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  12. Thanks for joining in the GFC Bloghop. I was already a follower of yours!

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  13. Looks so fun!

    Come say hello over at nichollvincent.blogspot.com and have a great day!

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  14. this is awesome! just found your blog and excited to be your newest follower!
    love,
    elisabeth
    p.s. drop by and say hi @ lavitaebella-elisabeth.blogspot.com

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  15. It just isn't summer without paper planes, kites and hand crancked ice-cream :)

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  16. to sweet.

    Aloha,
    Stopping by to say "hi" and follow ya from the GFC hop. If you're up for a bit of a ride come join me at localsugarhawaii.com-- we're riding the wave of life one little adventure at a time.

    xo,
    Nicole
    localsugarhawaii.com

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    1. Followed you back. I would love to go to Hawaii some day.

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  17. i forgot all about paper airplanes... crazy how i could do that with 3 kids, huh? thanks for stopping by from the blog hop girl =)

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  18. omg i have not made a paper airplane in so so so long!!! i loved making them out of the construction paper and racing them during recess



    http://infinitelifefitness.com
    http://mscomposure.blogspot.com

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    1. That's one great thing about having kids.... you get to keep doing all that fun stuff and have an excuse for it. haha

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  19. Found you on the Monday Mingle! Love this idea for a spontaneous family activity! Thanks for sharing!

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