Physics and Astronomy

Popsicle Plane
Objective To make a working model of an aircraft in order to demonstrate simple mechanics and to a construct launcher
Participants Any number of individuals or teams.
Materials 50 popsicle sticks, 2 sheets of paper, 23 cm X 28 cm (may be torn), 3 paper clips (#1), 2 jumbo paper clips (#2), elastic bands, white glue.
  • Both the airplane and the launcher should be assembled before the contest from the materials provided.
  • The aircraft must be capable of gliding.
  • The aircraft must be launched by the release of trigger mechanism.
  • The launching system must be freestanding, reusable, and capable of being reloaded within two minutes.
  • Judging
  • Two launches will be made and displacements recorded.
  • Failure to meet any of the design criteria will result in a disqualification.
  • Displacement will be measured from the leading edge of the aircraft in the launcher to the leading edge at the point of touchdown.
  • The plane that has traveled the greatest horizontal distance is the winner.
  • Source Youth Science Foundation Science Olympics Manual.

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