P6R – Planes, Trains and Automobiles

As part of our topic, ‘Planes, Trains and Automobiles’, P6 have been investigating what makes a plane fly.

We took part in an aerodynamic science investigation in which we were tasked to change the basic design of a paper plane to see how flight was affected. We made paper planes in small groups, choosing from a variety of materials such as A4 paper, A3 paper and card. Glue, scissors, lollipop sticks and paper clips were also available.

In groups, we presented our planes to peers to explain how we had changed the basic design and why. Before flying, we all made a prediction as to which plane we thought would travel the furthest and why.

After we had written down our hypotheses, the planes took flight!

Following this, we discovered that while a plane is flying forward, air moving over and under the wings provides an upward lift force on the plane. At the same time, air pushing back against the plane slows it down, creating a drag force. The weight of the paper plane also affects its flight, as gravity pulls it down toward Earth.

We had lots of fun carrying out this experiment and will complete a scientific write up next week.