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    New York Hall of Science

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This is a great activity for investigating the basics of lift and drag as they pertain to flight. Learners will discover how to avoid "taking a nosedive" by building their own paper airplane. Includes instructions for modifying the paper airplanes to achieve different flight patterns. Learners can go further by trying their own designs and modifications.

Quick Guide

Preparation Time:
Under 5 minutes

Learning Time:
10 to 30 minutes

Estimated Materials Cost:
1 cent - $1 per student

Age Range:
Ages 6 - 14

Resource Types:
Activity, Model


Materials List (per student)

  • Several 8 1/2 by 11 inch sheet of paper.
  • Optional targets - these can be cones, other sheets of paper, Xs taped to the floor, or anything else at which you can aim a paper airplane.


  • Engineering and Technology
    • Engineering
      • Aerospace Engineering
    • Technology
      • Construction
  • Physical Sciences
    • Motion and Forces
      • Gravity
      • Projectile Motion
      • Center of Gravity
  • The Nature of Technology
    • The Design Process

Informal Categories

  • Model Building
  • Physical Activity


To use this activity, learners need to:

  • see
  • be mobile
  • touch

Learning styles supported:

  • Involves hands-on or lab activities


This resource is part of:

Access Rights:

  • Free access


Source Collection:

  • TryScience


  • All Rights Reserved, Oregon Museum of Science and Industry,


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