Physics and Astronomy

Paper Plane Flights
Objective Entrants must construct a paper plane, in a fifteen minute period, . Students will then compete in three tests categories.
Purpose To explore the physics of flight.
Participants Teams of up to four.
Materials One sheet of stiff 30 X 45 cm paper, 50 cm of masking tape, scissors, a straight edge.
  1. Students may use written instructions during the initial fifteen minutes of the competition to build their planes, provided they have written the instructions themselves.
  2. Only one plane may be constructed during the fifteen minute construction period.
  3. Paper planes must be launched by hand, without the aid of any device.
  4. The same plane must be used for all three tests. Students will be able to make minor adjustments to the rudders and airfoils at the judges discretion.

Marks will be awarded for the following:

1. Distance - Farthest - distance in a direct line from the launching point - (best of two trials).

2. Accuracy - Hitting a bulls eye placed five metres from the launching point. Points will be awarded for distance from the bulls eye. The winner will be the student with the most total points after three trials.

3. Aeronautical stunts - Points will be awarded for paper plane acrobatics. Scores will be out of ten and given by a panel of judges. The winner will be based on total points for two trials.

Source Youth Science Foundation Science Olympics Manual.

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