This post is part of the 31 days of STEM activities for kids series. We’re learning about engineering projects this week. Grab a coffee and read through the other posts in the series!
One of Monkey’s favorite things are paper airplanes. Any time she has a piece of paper, she turns it into an airplane. For this engineering project and STEM activities, we decided to take her love of making paper airplanes and make it educational. The paper plate engineering challenge is a fun way to test kids’ design skills and makes a wonderful introduction to engineering activities for kids.
Engineering Activity for Kids: Paper Airplane Engineering
- Assorted types of paper (to see which paper flies best)
- Paper airplane-making book (this is the one we used)
Choose your designs
Monkey looked at the plane designs in the book and decided which she wanted to attempt to make. In our book, some of the planes were a little challenging for her (8 years old), so she did need a bit of help making some designs.
Choose your paper
Decide which planes you want to make out of which paper. We used computer paper for some and construction paper for others.
Craft your planes
We followed the directions in our book to create the plane designs. You can also make your own designs and see what happens.
Test the planes
This was our favorite part. We spent an hour or more throwing the planes across the house. Monkey loved the planes that looped. I liked the planes that could glide for long distances.
We didn’t judge our planes, just observed their differences. Light, pointed planes flew far and straight, while shorter, wider planes with folds in the wings would make loops or crazy turns. However, if you want to judge the planes in more of a paper airplane engineering challenge, see which material produces the best planes, which design can go farthest, which design can do the most tricks, and anything else you can think of! Have fun with it!
If you try our paper airplane engineering activity, share your results with us on the Schooling a Monkey Facebook page! We would love to see your projects!
Don’t forget to check out the other STEM activities for kids in the series here! And if you need more homeschooling tips, take a look at the other 31 series here.