Paper Airplanes: Building, Testing, & Improving. Heads Up!

Type of Resource



From TeachEngineering - Students learn the different airplane parts, including wing, flap, aileron, fuselage, cockpit, propeller, spinner, engine, tail, rudder, elevator. Then they each build one of four different (provided) paper airplane (really, glider) designs with instructions, which they test in three trials, measuring flight distance and time. Then they design and build (fold, cut) a second paper airplane design of their own creation, which they also test for flight distance and time.

Performance Expectations

MS-ETS1-2   Evaluate competing design solutions using a systematic process to determine how well they meet the criteria and constraints of the problem.

MS-ETS1-4   Develop a model to generate data for iterative testing and modification of a proposed object, tool, or process such that an optimal design can be achieved.