Unit 1: Life Science Teacher Information Unit 2: Physical Science Teacher Information Unit 3: Earth Science Teacher Information
 Unit Projects 2:  Physical Science
 When the Wright brothers set out to make the first powered airplane, they spent time researching flight and studying designs that had failed, as well as gliders that had already flown. They considered variables such as distance, time, speed, force, and surface area. They recognized the forces involved in flight, such as gravity, lift, and drag (a form of friction). Consider all these variables and forces and help your team design a paper airplane that flies farther or longer than your classmates' airplanes.

A Paper Airplane Contest

Goals

• Research paper airplane design strategies.
• Design and build paper airplanes.
• Measure variables related to the airplane designs.

Researching Flight

Visit the Web links page to find links to paper airplane and flight sites on the web. Learn about the physics of flight, and consider the benefits of different designs.

Procedure
Materials: paper, 50-m tape measure, metric ruler, stopwatch, balance, tape, stapler, paper clips, scissors

1. You may use a single sheet of any type of paper. You may also cut, fold, tape, glue, or staple the paper to form your airplane.
2. Plan one or more designs. What type of paper will your airplane be made of? What shape of wings will you use? Make a sketch of your design and instructions on how to build it. Print this data table.
3. Build your design. Use a balance to measure your airplane's mass. Record this mass in the data table.
4. Find an indoor testing area. It should be flat and open, such as a cafeteria or gymnasium.
5. Experiment with different ways of flying your airplane. Measure the distance and length of each flight. Record the data in the table in your Science Journal.
6. Make any modifications to your airplane that you think are necessary. Remember to change only one factor at a time. Record each modification in your Science Journal.

7. Tell your teacher when you have finished the airplane that you think will fly as long and as far as possible.
8. Hold a class contest to determine three categories: greatest time in the air, greatest distance flown from starting point, and the greatest overall flight (multiply flight distance and time). Your class will need to decide on the contest rules. Will teams get only one flight, or will they average the results of several? Who will judge flight time?

Conclude and Apply

1. Compare and contrast the designs your class came up with. What features did the winning planes have?
2. How did the planes that did well in the distance category differ from the planes that flew for a long time?

 Go Further Based on the results of your designs, what kind of features would a plane have that is designed to land on target?