Sandra E. Broomes Sherman
1000 W. 52nd Street
Chicago IL 60609
(312) 535-1757


Designed for Grades 2 & 3. To develop and experiment with flying. To
understand basic principals of energy of motion. To make and fly paper

Materials Needed:

Materials listed are for groups of four.

paper clips
pop cans (empty)
toy helicopter


Take two sheets of paper the same size. Crumple one of the papers into a ball.
Hold the crumpled paper and the flat paper high above our head. Drop them both
at the same time. The force of gravity pulls them both downward. Which paper
falls to the ground first? What seems to keep the flat sheet from falling

Draw a picture of a plane on the board. Write the word lift above the plane.
We say the wings give a plane lift and makes a plane go up. Gravity below, drag
behind and thrust in front. Ask the students what these words mean. These four
forces are always working on paper planes as well as real airplanes.

Take a balloon blow it up and let it go. This will show thrust which makes the
balloon zoom across the room. The students will experiment with blowing between
the two empty pop cans. We discuss the Bernoulli's Principle.

Each group will make a helicopter and fly it off the 3rd floor. We will go on
to make several different styles and designs of paper planes.

Performance Assessment:

Work in groups of four and discuss answers to the questions. Write down results
on how planes were made and how long they were able to fly. Did their
helicopter fly when launched? Which way did it fly? Students will have the
actual paper helicopter and plane as the result of the experiment.
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