PARISH – Research, reading, problem solving, critical thinking and an understanding of the elements of flight and aerodynamics were all utilized when Chad Bigelow, technology integration specialist at Altmar-Parish-Williamstown Elementary School visited with fifth graders in Stephanie Stanton’s class for a hands-on lesson on paper airplanes.
The students in the week leading up to the event researched flight and studied various elements of aerodynamics and the essentials of flight
When Bigelow arrived for the project-based, hands-on application of what they had learned, he gave the students two different sets of instructions on how to fold a paper airplane.
The students followed the directions to complete the airplanes and tested them for two aspects of length of flight: 1) how long they stayed airborne and 2) distance traveled from the start.
The students made revisions following each flight and when they had determined what helped the planes to complete the two determining aspects for points, they then constructed, using their own design, a third plane.
They could incorporate some of the design from the previous test models, or create one on their own.
The flights were so successful, the classroom did not prove to be a long enough flight pattern, so the final flights moved out to the hallway where some beautiful flights took place.