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Young Scientist Paper Planes Challenge

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Engage your students in the 2020 Paper Plane Challenge during National Science Week. Stretch their technological imagination and explore material and physical world concepts in this fun interactive activity.

Some Ground Rules before Take Off

  • Paper planes must be made in front of a supervising adult witness using regular A4 or Quarto paper (80GSM or 90GSM).
  • Paper planes are to be made by the student competitor.
  • Only folding is allowed, no cutting, gluing or taping.
  • Only one piece of paper per plane may be used.
  • There are two categories: Distance & Airtime.
  • Competitors may compete in one or both categories.
  • Only K-12 school-aged students are allowed to compete. You may qualify at school, home, holiday activity groups or out of school activity groups – you just need an adult witness to verify your throw.
  • There will be 13 age/year groups for each category. See below for age/grade groups.
  • Video footage as evidence is required for each qualifying throw.
  • Each Distance throw must land within the marked competition area.
  • Students must not overstep the marked ‘throwing line/mark, if a thrower steps over the line the throw will not be counted or measured.
  • Distance will be measured in a straight line from the throwing mark to where the plane first hits the ground or an object (whichever first).
  • Time will be measured from the moment the plane leaves the hand to when it hits the ground or an object (whichever first).
  • Students may re-enter as many times as they like if they have an improved throw.

Year group categories:

  • Trainee Pilots: Years K – 2
  • Junior Pilots: Years 3 – 4
  • Master Pilots: Years 5 – 6
  • Advanced Pilots: Years 7 – 12