Paper Plane Design Challenge for Primary Schools
Hi there!

Dylan from The Paper Pilots here and I'm on board with Aeroplane Jelly this year to launch the inaugural Paper Plane Design Challenge as a celebration of their 90th birthday.

Paper planes might seem like a bit of fun (and they are) but after teaching the art of flight in Australian schools for the past two years, I've consistently had the same feedback about how powerful they can be in the classroom:

Paper planes offer a popular hands-on and extremely relevant way to communicate and engage with students around existing curriculum outcomes.

Thanks to Aeroplane Jelly we are giving your students the chance to be Australia's best paper plane designer.

All your students need to do is:

  • Create a 90 second video that shows them folding an original and creative paper plane they designed themselves including footage of them throwing their plane to demonstrate its ability to fly through the air. Students must also narrate the steps involved in folding their paper plane. Students must use a standard A4 piece of paper, but it can be any colour and of any thickness; and then
  • Visit follow the prompts to register to enter (including their full name, and their parent/legal guardian's telephone number and valid email address), provide an original and creative name of the paper plane they designed and provide an explanation of why they think they have created the best Aeroplane Jelly paper plane design in 25 words or less.
Entrants will be judged on the originality and creative merit of their paper plane design, as shown through their 90 second video. Judges will also assess how well the entrant narrated the steps involved in folding their paper plane, and how well their paper plane flew through the air.

The best entries in each State/Territory Grade Group will win:

  • A $100 Aeroplane Jelly hamper
  • A $100 CleverPatch Hamper of art and craft supplies
  • A PowerUp Electric Paper Plane Kit

THE best entry in each State/Territory wins:

A trip for two to Sydney to compete in the Aeroplane Jelly's Great Paper Plane Fly Off, which includes two (2) return economy airfares from the winner's nearest Australian capital city to Sydney and two nights' accommodation. This event is held on the 7th and 8th of May, 2017.

The national winner will win:

  • A $300 CleverPatch Gift Voucher for themselves to use at
  • A $200 CleverPatch Gift Voucher for your primary school. CleverPatch is Australia’s leading creative resources supplier to schools and supplies everything your students need to inspire, create, colour and make.
  • A flight school workshop visit from The Paper Pilots in term 4, 2017. The workshop has been designed in consultation with teachers and engages students to think critically and problem solve. Students are exposed to procedural literacy activities, as well as basic geometry. It is a social activity that guarantees a fun and educational experience for the whole class.

The thing that makes this activity different is that it can be used in a variety of ways and is a highly engaging activity with students. Teachers I've worked with have enlisted paper planes to explore the following:

  • The design processes and discovery of new ways to fold a range of materials to create solutions for making paper planes
  • Planning and conducting investigations into the flight distances of paper planes using the science inquiry skills
  • Exploration and discovery of different materials and their effect on flight
  • The key forces of flight (gravity, lift, drag and thrust-push and pull forces)
  • Data collection and measurement by holding a competition and measuring distance or time in the air and collating and analysing results.

What's more, I've never experienced anything similar that breaks through to students regardless of gender, educational or physical ability, it's truly universal and truly inclusive. The good thing is positive feedback on the lesson reaches home and will help to connect families with what's going on at school.

For more information on possible Design and Technologies and Science curriculum links please see below but for now here are some great ideas for activities that can tie in with paper planes and the Aeroplane Jelly Paper Plane Design Challenge.

  • A design activity where students investigate and experiment with different materials to fold and fly their paper planes; students outline reasons for their choices of materials, as well as construction and flying techniques, and hypothesise the effects these choices have on the performance of the paper plane.
  • Demonstration of the design processes by students who undertake steps such as designing, prototyping, and producing and implementing a paper plane model.
  • Design and production of paper planes by students, who then use digital technologies such as iPads to record their competition entry video. This video has a 90 second limit so students will need to plan and practise, or edit, their video to meet the length requirements.
  • Presentation of key developments in flight spanning from ancient Chinese kites, failed flying contraptions, the Wright Brothers first flight, breaking the sound barrier and the moon landing by students researching and critique information.
  • A paper plane competition with categories for distance or time in the air. Students record the measurements and times and discuss fair ways to combine both distance and time to calculate a winner.

We look forward to seeing all the amazing entries fly in. Log onto for more details. Entries close April 20, 2017.

Just remember, fun in the classroom is only an A4 away!

Dylan - The Paper Pilots and Aeroplane Jelly


Connections to Australian Curriculum

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