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What makes paper airplanes stay in the air longer? Guide your students through the scientific process with this CER Paper Airplane Lab. They will get to design, test and adjust their planes while learning physics and engineering STEM skills. Many may have made a paper airplane, but this will aim their scientific eye on the how and why. Challenge their problem solving abilities and help them soar to new heights!

Objective: This lesson gives practice needed to learn how to communicate using the CER method during experimentation. The content focus is on the physics of flight, however, this does not need to be within a physics unit. Guided research enables students to hone research skills.

This is a great lab to do at the beginning of the year, or at the beginning of a physics unit. 

Students will learn science and engineering practices by using, and revising models to describe, test, and predict; students will practice recording data as evidence, and practice with various steps of planning and carrying out investigations

Science Concepts: Uses the CER Method for an experiment with engineering practices in mind. Guidance for the steps is given, but this best for students that are already somewhat familiar with the CER method. However, the experiment and lab write up are meant as practice for students who are working to improve their communication skills by using the CER method.   

Student Learning Skills: Peer communication, CER Scientific process, Problem solving

Lesson and Teacher Tips: 

Teacher information is posted in the speaker notes of several slides. More information, including links and set up tips are at the end of the presentation. The student CER lab pages are editable so that you may more closely fit your students’ needs and skills. 

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