Project: Students will use one 45-minute class period to work through a STEAM Challenge of creating a paper airplane that performs the most 360 degree loops in the air before falling to the ground.
Academic Area/Skills: Art, Design, Technology, Engineering, Math
Materials: Paper of various weights, Tape, Scissors, STEAM Interactive Journal
Grades: 3-5 (1-2 participated in modified challenge of creating a plane that flies far)
Description: Students were eager to participate in their first STEAM Lab Challenge. This project allowed students to work through the engineering process as outlined by Engineering is Elementary Curriculum. Students first asked the question, "How can I make a paper airplane that will perform the most loops in the air?" Next, students brainstormed ideas and drew sketches. Then, students gathered materials and created their airplanes. Students launched and tested their creations until their hearts were content. Without many reminders, students naturally went back to their tables and made modifications/improvements to their airplanes before retesting. This project was a perfect first challenge- not too time or materials intensive, yet enough difficulty to get kids really problem solving.