Challenge: Become an aeronautical engineer – design a plane!

Challenge: Become an aeronautical engineer – design a plane!

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In this challenge, you have to construct a paper airplane that will carry the maximum amount of paper clips and still fly the furthest.

This challenge is about problem solving and engineering skills. What type of wingspan will help keep the plane flying under the added weight? How will the shape of the nose influence the direction the plane flies? Where on the plane will you place the paper clips?


What you’ll need:

  • Paper
  • Scissors
  • Paper clips
  • Tape
  • Measuring tape (or you can use your footsteps to pace out the distance)


The origami begins! Using your knowledge of paper planes, books or websites, become an aeronautical engineer and start designing!



How to play:

  1. Design and construct one paper airplane.
  2. Start affixing as many paperclips as you want to any part of the plane.
  3. Fly your plane.
  4. Measure how far your plane went with a tape measure (or use footsteps).
  5. Try adjusting the number of paperclips to see how that changes the distance.
  6. Using what you have learned from the first design, design 3-4 more planes, each time placing the same number of paper clips on and then adjusting that number to see what happens.

Select your best plane for a race with your family or friends.

To win this game, you need to get the highest score! To calculate your final score, take the distance covered and add how many clips you used:


Point value: Distance + Number of paperclips used

Have fun!