Monday, September 29, 2014

Flying Paper Airplanes {STEM Activity}

At the end of last year, my principal asked me if I wanted to be part of a STEM grant, written specifically for Title I schools in my area.  Of course, I said yes!  I went to several days of training over the summer.  I have already implemented STEM activities into my instruction three times!  The kids and I are LOVING it!  It is a really nice break and allows the students to work together and discover on their own...without me telling them!!

 Today, we made these paper airplanes.  I watched several YouTube videos and this was the best and the easiest!  I wasn't sure if the kids knew how to make a paper airplane, so we all made the same one.  One student made and flew his own style airplane!  It was so fast!!

The goal of the lesson was to first, fly the airplane eight times, measure, then record the data.  The hardest part for the students was the measuring part, but since I was doing this with my 6th graders during math class, I made a big deal about being accurate (attend to precision, right!?).  

The second goal of the lesson was to make some sort of modification.  I showed students samples of weight (paper clips or tape) added to the nose or the wings.  I also said they could cut off part of the nose to modify the length.  The point was to make a modification, then predict whether their experiment would make their airplane fly a longer or shorter distance.  After their prediction, they flew the airplanes eight more times, measured, and recorded the results.

Let me tell you, ALL of my students were engaged and so into it!  Even my kids that never participate were helping out!  It was really nice to see and so much fun for all of us!

Here is the write up we used… you can download it for FREE below!

If you tried this in your classroom, I would LOVE to hear how it went :)