Science Storytime: Paper Airplanes

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAFor a technology and engineering theme we talked about paper airplanes. I read the book I’m Here, which features a paper airplanes, and we talked about both real airplanes and paper ones.

I brought in our industrial fan, and we predicted what would happen when I threw a paper airplaine towards the fan and what would happen when I threw it away from the fan going in the same direction as the air. This didn’t go quite as planned. The fan is very directional, and I discovered that it was harder to throw my paper airplane directly into the airstream than I had anticipated, in part because the airstream itself pushed my paper plane away from it.

I had made a handful of paper airplanes and encouraged parents to help children make more to test out. Creating paper airplanes was just too much for all of the preschoolers. The fine motor skills and organizational concepts required were too great. But they certainly had a lot of fun throwing the planes.

While everyone had a good time, I don’t count this as one of my more successful Science Storytime events, as it was mostly just fooling around with the planes, rather than using them in a more purposeful or exploratory manner. I think the requirements for both interacting with the planes and understanding the concepts may have been a little too much for three year olds.

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