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Engineer a Glider Activity

 

We’ll take inspiration from nature and the engineering design process to become aerospace engineers and create gliders! Gliders can be flown outdoors or indoors for endless fun.

Materials:

  • Paper plates
  • Paper (copy, construction, paper grocery bags, newspaper, any kind will do!)
  • Scissors
  • Glue or tape
  • Art supplies of your choice to decorate
  • Paper clips for weight (optional)
  • Measuring tape or ruler (optional)

Instructions:

  1. Cut a section the length of the paper plate, as wide as you would like, as the mid section (body) of your glider.
  2. Use the scraps to create wings!
  3. If you are making a paper airplane, you can use this template or create one of your own!
  4. If using the template, fold in order of the numbers and in the direction of the arrows.
  5. Decorate and fly!

Think Like an Engineer:

  1. Will adding the weight of a paperclip change how my glider flies? Does the placement of the paperclip matter (on the wings vs on the nose)?
  2. How many inches can my glider fly? How can I improve it to make it fly farther?
  3. If I make two gliders from the same materials, will they fly the same or differently?

Created by Amy Blaubach, Director of STEM Education, New Horizon Enterprises

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