STEM Challenges are terrific ways to help teach your kids about science, technology, engineering and math, all while building their brains and making connections through problem solving.
This week we studied paper airplanes. Every week we do a different challenge with our elementary-aged kiddos. I give them a problem or a contest, and they have to figure out how to solve it. You would not believe how engaged the kids are in learning when they have a problem to solve!
Make a paper airplane that can carry a cargo and glide more than ten feet (not be hurled, but actually glide). The cargo we decided on was money-coins. And the winner is the kiddo who could fly the most money. Our winner flew a plane with $5.60! Second place winner came in with nearly $3.00 of coins!
How Much Cargo Can a Paper Airplane Carry?
Supplies you need to set up your kids challenge:
- Construction Paper
- Tape, Lots of tape!
- Handfuls of coins
First, draw a line on the floor about ten feet in front of your doorway. Use tape to make a “target” in the upper third of the doorway. To prove their cargo plane can fly, kids need to glide their plane through that “target” successfully.
How to Fold a Paper Airplane
If your kids don’t know how to make a paper airplane have them watch some videos on You Tube. Below is our kids favorite airplane to make. This is a problem solving activity for them, so try to stay as uninvolved in the process as possible. Your kids can just watch the videos and teach themselves. If you are unable to watch the videos, here is a basic how to fold an airplane instruction sheet. You can print it out.