How can we make sand stand tall?
What makes a paper airplane fly farther or stay in the sky longer?
Create a hypothesis and test which paper airplane design works best.
Gather and analyze data from testing different paper airplane designs.
Students collect data through testing and discussions;
Students share the results of their testing with the group;
Students evaluate shared data to determine what makes airplanes fly farther or longer.
Go over the results of the paper airplane activity as a whole group.
Possible questions to guide the discussion:
What planes flew the farthest in your group?
What planes stayed in the air the longest?
What planes were the fastest?
How were the designs that flew farthest different from the ones that flew longest?
If you wanted to design an airplane to fly fast, what would it look like?
What if you wanted it to fly slow and stay in the air longer?
Form your hypotheses and discuss these questions.
Paper Airplane Activity
Small-group Hands-on Scientific Inquiry (25-35 minutes)
Review the Problem Solving Chart and explain that today they will be testing and revising their paper airplane designs.
In their groups, students will choose a design to test. Each group must make at least one paper airplane to achieve the best distance and one paper airplane to achieve the longest time in the air (each student should make an airplane).
Students test their design three times and record the results in the flight record worksheet
Based on the results students redesign the plane two more times then test them the same way and record the results in the worksheet.
Students write a journal entry about their results. Possible prompts: Did your last design work better than your first? Why or why not?
Students share their results with the whole group.
End of Session Reflection and Debriefing
Teacher briefly explains the computational thinking (CT) skill embedded in the Problem Solving Process Diagram. Using the problem solving process diagram, the teacher will ask students to identify what kind of problem solving skills/process/computational thinking they used in this session and explain how they used it. The following are some sample questions that can guide the debrief.
What did I learn today?
What problem solving skills/processes or CT components in this diagram did I use today?
How did I use the problem solving skills/processes/CT components?