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Video: Paper Airplane Launcher

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Video: Paper Airplane Launcher


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STEM Activity
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Here's a challenge: Try throwing a paper airplane by moving just your wrist (don't move your elbow or shoulder). It's hard, isn't it? How could you get a paper airplane to fly far if you can use only a short distance to launch it? Try this activity to find out! Read more
Lesson Plan Grade: 6th-8th
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. Read more
NGSS Performance Expectations:
  • MS-PS3-2. Develop a model to describe that when the arrangement of objects interacting at a distance changes, different amounts of potential energy are stored in the system.
  • MS-ETS1-4. Develop a model to generate data for iterative testing and modification of a proposed object, tool, or process such that an optimal design can be achieved.
Science Fair Project Idea
Naval fighter pilots seem to defy physics each time they fly their jets off of an aircraft carrier. Normal runways are thousands of feet long so that airplanes can develop enough lift to fly. But a runway on an aircraft is much shorter. How can naval pilots get their fighter jets into the air without falling off the carrier into the ocean? Well, because they get a boost from a catapult! Sounds unbelievable? It's not, and you can find out more about catapult-assisted takeoff in this aerodynamics… Read more
Blog Post
May the 4th be with you! Tie simple science explorations in with Star Wars for Star Wars Day. Great STEM ideas for the classroom or for family science with kids at home. Connect favorite characters, epic movie scenes, Star Wars lore, and more with hands-on learning! May the 4th Be with You (AKA Star Wars Day) May 4th is a day of epic proportions for Star Wars fans. Echoing the popular movie line, the day is celebrated as May the 4th Be with You… Read more
Blog Post
Our free STEM lesson plans can help you plan successful remote learning instruction. Here are 12 picks for science and engineering lessons to consider right now. Schools in many areas remain closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and many schools will finish out the school year with remote learning. Students and teachers may not be gathering in traditional classrooms, but teaching students about physics, chemistry, engineering, biology, and other subjects… Read more
Blog Post
Father's Day is coming up! Creative STEM activities are a fun way for kids to make something with that perfect DIY flair to mark the day. STEM Activities to Make or Do and Give! Giving something to celebrate Father's Day (or Mother's Day) should be simple! It doesn't have to cost a lot to make something one-of-a-kind and special to give to Dad, a father figure, or another special person. Many of the ideas highlighted below use materials you can… Read more
Blog Post
Use these free lesson plans and hands-on activities to explore potential and kinetic energy with students! What happens when you stretch a rubber band and let it go? Why? Explaining how energy is stored and transferred and how that relates to the movement and momentum of objects in motion involves understanding potential and kinetic energy. This is an area of science where getting hands-on with the storage, transfer, and release of energy really helps… Read more
Blog Post
Check in each week at Science Buddies this summer for our Awesome Summer Science Experiments series! Each week, we'll highlight a few activities for awesome science and engineering kids can do at home. We've got a whole summer of fun STEM themes lined up for kids of all ages — for free. This week: awesome summer science experiments with rubber bands! Awesome Rubber Band STEM Rubber bands are fun to stretch and even fun to fling across the room.… Read more
Blog Post
Check in each week at Science Buddies this summer for our Awesome Summer Science Experiments series! Each week, we'll highlight a few activities for awesome science and engineering kids can do at home. We've got a whole summer of fun STEM themes lined up for kids of all ages — for free. This week: awesome summer science experiments that take to the skies! Awesome High-Flying Science Launching, throwing, blasting off, and sending things flying… Read more
Blog Post
Use these free STEM lessons and activities to help students get hands-on building, testing, and exploring the science of energy and the different types of potential and kinetic energy. From the classic snake-in-a-can prank to stretching and shooting rubber bands across the room, bouncing a basketball, or rolling a marble down a ramp, kids know energy in motion when they see it. The world is full of energy, and energy is constantly being used,… Read more
Blog Post
Making learning fun is sometimes half the battle! With the right activities, educators can ensure learning about science and engineering involves hands-on fun for students of all ages. Build in some stretchy science fun with STEM experiments that use rubber bands! Stretchy STEM Science! Rubber bands are fun to stretch. What happens when you let them go? They might fly! Can you use the stretchiness of a rubber band to send other things flying or create… Read more
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