Airplane Design Challenge

Downloadable (1 PDF - 8 pages) 

Ideal for grades 6-8, this design challenge is for students to learn about what properties allow solid objects to fly in the air, as well as what components make up an airplane. The challenge is to fold a paper airplane that has a power source (a balloon or elastic with a propeller) that can fly a distance of 10 m. 

After completing this design challenge, students will:

  • Gain an understanding of properties of flight such as lift, gravity, thrust and drag through prototyping paper airplanes with a power source.

Resources included:

  • Lesson plan
  • Student reflection worksheet

Additional resources required per group:

  • Construction paper
  • Scissors
  • Glue
  • Tape
  • Ruler
  • Balloons
  • Elastic bands
  • Popsicle sticks