1/2L’s Paper Plane Science Investigation

The focus of our Science investigation looked at how changing the size of the wings affects how fast the plane falls.

Each student in 1/2L made a paper plane. They were asked to predict what would happen when they released the paper plane. They had to explain their prediction.

In groups of 5, the students released their paper plane and discussed how their observations compared with their predictions.

Students were asked to answer the following questions:

What pulls the plane down? How does it move? What pushes up against the wings of the helicopter? How do you know? Have you seen examples of this anywhere else, such as, real helicopters or parachutes? What things will affect how quickly the plane falls to the ground?’

Once the students had released the planes, they were asked to look at each part of the plane and recorded a list of factors that might affect the plane’s fall. Suggestions included the size of the wings, shape of the wings, angle of the wings, length of the plane, height it is dropped from, weight of the plane, and the paper it is made from.

Considering their observations, the students changed their original planes to make their planes fly further.

The students recorded their results on an investigation planner.