This is a Science 10 experiment that I did on the first day of the quarter. We reviewed the scientific method by doing a simple experiment with paper airplanes. Each group had to decide on a factor to change about a paper plane, to see how it would affect the distance it flew. My group chose to change the length of our planes by folding up the bottom. We had a control plane made from a regular piece of paper, that was 6.9 inches long. The second plane was folded up 1 inch, to make it 5.9 inches long. Finally, the third plane was 4.9 inches long. These are the three airplanes we made:
My partner and I hypothesized that the distance of flight wouldn’t change at all, because each paper airplane was still the same mass and weight. In the end, our results clearly showed that the longest plane (the control variable) went the furthest. As the planes got shorter, they also flew less. From this experiment I learned that a longer plane can usually fly farther than a shorter one. I think this is because there is more wingspan, helping to keep the plane in the air longer. This then makes the flying distance longer, so it therefore goes farther. I also learned that every attempt in an experiment is different, with results that can sometimes be surprising.
If I were to do this again I would test the paper planes many more times. This would give an opportunity for more detailed and accurate results. I would also test a few more additional planes with different lengths to show me if the pattern in my results continues or not. Overall, this was a great experience for me to remember and practice the scientific method, by doing a simple experiment. I think it was a fun and interesting way to get back into science!