Family Flyers

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In this activity, learners work in teams to build and test paper airplanes. Learners try to fly their airplanes directly on the runway and earn points for accuracy. Learners keep track of each airplane's flight on a record sheet. Educators can use this activity as a lesson on aerodynamics, engineering, and teamwork.

Quick Guide

  • Preparation Time: Under 5 minutes
  • Learning Time: 10 to 30 minutes
  • Estimated materials cost: $1 - $5 per group of students
  • Age Range: Ages 6 - 11
  • Language: English

Materials List (per group of students)

  • 8 1/2" x 11" sheets of paper
  • markers
  • small-sized paper clips
  • rolls of masking tape
  • simple paper airplane templates and dart paper airplane templates
  • Runway Record sheets

Informal Categories

  • Model Building
  • Physical Activity
  • Transportation


  • Engineering and Technology
    • Engineering
      • Aerospace Engineering
      • Transportation Engineering
  • Mathematics
    • Data Analysis and Probability
      • Data Analysis
      • Data Collection
      • Data Representation
  • Physical Sciences
    • Motion and Forces
      • Gravity
      • Projectile Motion
  • The Nature of Science
    • The Scientific Process
      • Conducting Investigations
      • Gathering Data
      • Formulating Explanations
      • Communicating Results
  • The Nature of Technology
    • The Design Process
      • Invention and Innovation
      • Problem Solving
      • Troubleshooting and Maintenance

To use this activity learners need to

  • see
  • read
  • be mobile
  • touch

Learning styles supported

  • Involves teamwork and communication skills
  • Involves hands-on or lab activities

This resource is part of


Department of 4-H Youth Development, University of Wisconsin Extension


All Rights Reserved, Board of Regents of the University of Wisconsin System, ©2002

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