The Ontario Curriculum has Flight covered as a formal Science and Technology topic in Grade 6. There’s one interesting expectation that I’d like to reference:
2.4 use technological problem-solving skills (see page 16) to design, build, and test a flying device (e.g., a kite, a paper airplane, a hot air balloon) Sample guiding questions: How does your device use the principles of flight? What were some challenges in getting your device off the ground? How might you change your device to make it fly better?
I’ve been in classes addressing this particular expectation and the building and testing their creations has always looked like fun.
I can recall building one type of paper airplane as a kid and it pales in comparison to some of the genius designs from kids.
But, no more!
At the website “Origami for Kids”, there’s a whole section dedicated to the construction and testing of paper airplanes.
Select the type that you’d like from the left side menu. I played around with a Flat Bottom design. Why? I don’t know; it just looked like a bit of fun with all kinds of room to experiment with design.
The site shows very nicely how to construct the airplane. First, you have a 3D representation of the final product and then an animation that takes you through the steps required to build the plane.
This is definitely a resource for fun and inspiration.
Of course, airplanes are but a beginning. There are lots of other helpful paper folding activities. It was really timely as I watched the Grand Prix of Monte Carlo today. It gives an extra appreciation for the little bits that go into Formula 1 car design.
This is going to keep me entertained for quite a while!