Paper airplanes were soaring through the air inside Chandler Elementary School, but in the name of science. As part of an ongoing hands-on project, third-graders in Nate Shenk’s class spent Thursday flinging their creations across the classroom and recording measurements like distance and hang-time.
The students were split into groups, each having designated throwers and recorders. For each trial, binder clips were placed on different sections of the planes to see how it affected the trajectory. Some planes only flew three meters or so, while others flew across the length of the room and crashed against the wall.
As a school within the New Tech Network, students at Chandler Elementary use project-based learning to learn technology skills, Shenk said. Recording the flight data into iPads is one of the ways technology plays a role in students’ learning.
The goal of the experiment is to write a report to a pilot, who is friends with one of the other third-grade teachers, explaining how weight affects the lift and drag when flying.