Design a Paper Airplane Launcher
- Use the engineering design process to design, build, and test a paper airplane launcher
- Understand how potential energy is converted to kinetic energy when using the launcher
Aircraft carriers are much shorter than a typical airport runway. How do airplanes manage to gain enough speed for takeoff over such a short distance? A catapult gives them an extra boost! In this lesson, your students will practice engineering design as they build their own paper airplane launchers, while learning about kinetic and potential energy.
NGSS AlignmentThis lesson helps students prepare for these Next Generation Science Standards Performance Expectations:
Paper airplane launchers made from different materials. Left: cardboard. Center: LEGO® bricks. Right: Wooden board and screws.
Area of Science
Potential energy, kinetic energy, engineering design
Ben Finio, PhD, Science Buddies
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