Paper Aeroplane Testing takes paper aeroplane making to a new level! Adding a scientific angle – analysing what feats of engineering you can achieve together, and how to make the ultimate paper plane!
Fold as wide a variety of planes as you can. Try to ensure you have a variety of styles and try to make some using plain paper, some using newspaper and some card. There are instructions for lots of different paper aeroplane designs here, but try out designs you’ve tried before, and make up your own variations too.
Test the planes by holding a piece of string across the room; can the planes fly over and under it? Which planes can fly through a hoop? Can you land the planes on a mat or sheet of newspaper? Which plane can fly the furthest? Do any of the planes do stunts or come back? Encourage the concept of this activity as a scientific experiment to minimise competition. Make sure you note down the results.
Now have a look at your results – What was the best material? Was there one outstanding plane, or did different planes perform well in different categories: distance; precision; maintaining height? Can you use your results to combine different elements of the top planes in each category and make the ultimate design?