Directions for Running a School Event

The following set of directions will assist any school or class run their own Paper Plane Challenge. This procedure will be used at the 2016 NSW All Schools Paper Plane Challenge at the University of Sydney Open Day. To speed up the whole process we will be having multiple runways with two officials for each runway. Schools or classes may modify this procedure to suit their own needs or resources.

List of Equipment needed for Running a Paper Plane Challenge

  • Multiple reams of 80g/m2 A4 paper
  • 2 Tables for each event for registration and then for folding planes
  • 2 tape measures (30m or 50m) for each runway
  • At least 6 markers for each runway
  • Paddle pop sticks or other folding tools to help students press down or score their folds
  • Enough stopwatches for the number of students who will be throwing at the one time
  • School Paper Plane Challenge Recording Sheet
  • Final Results Sheet

Running the Furthest Distance Event

  1. Record the names of each student competing on the School Paper Plane Challenge Recording Sheet provided. Make sure enough copies are printed off for each event.
  2. After having their names recorded, students should line up at the marshaling area.
  3. Depending on the number of runways, have that number of students move up to the tables, where they will be given a single sheet of A4 paper to fold their paper plane. Only folding is allowed – no tearing, gluing, taping or adding any weights. Students are permitted to use a folding tool such as a paddle pop stick to help press their folds.
  4. These students then move up to the line behind each respective runway, while the next set of students move up to the table.
  5. Instruct students that they may have a run-up but they can’t touch the line or put their foot over the line until their plane has landed.
  6. Following the diagram below, the officials should stand on the left side of the throwing zone. Official 1 will be measuring each thrower and official 2 will be recording the distance.

 

Markers3

 

  1. Official 1 carefully watches where the plane first touches the ground and places a marker at this point.
  2. Each throw is then accurately measured using the 2nd tape measure (the 1st tape measure should be on the ground in the centre of the throwing region, with the zero on the inside of the throwing line). The measurement is a straight line distance (perpendicular distance) from the inside of the throwing line.
  3. Official 1 calls out the distance to the recorder, (Official 2), who writes the distance on the results sheet e.g. 11.03m for thrower 1, 16.74m for thrower 2 …
  4. After the first six throws are measured the markers are moved to their respective points on the edge of the central tape measure (see diagram above) ready for the rest of the throws. Students go out and collect their planes and move to the back of the line for their second throw. They may use the same plane or make a new one for their second throw.
  5. The next throwers then move to the line and have their throw when directed. If any of the planes go beyond the current 6th place, then official 1 places a marker at the first point of contact and accurately measures the distance with the 2nd tape measure. For other throws that fall short of 6th place, Official 1 simply estimates the length of the throw by using the central tape as a reference and calls out the distance to one decimal place e.g. 10.3m to the recorder.
  6. The markers are then moved to the respective position on the edge of the central tape measure and the original place markers are removed, starting with 6th
  7. The event continues in this way, with the final 6 markers that are left at the end of the competition, being the 6 winners
  8.  Transfer the name, year level, email address and the best throw distance of each of the 6 winning students to the Final Results Sheet. Also transfer the names of other students who made the qualifying distance to the sheet.
  9.  Go to the Registration form on the 2016 NSW All Schools Paper Plane Challenge website and register all students who intend to come to the finals at Sydney University. It is important that if teachers fill out the Registration details online, they will need all the detail that is listed on the Final Results Sheet.
  10. High Flyer Paper Plane Challenge schools need only send in the video footage of the top three student throws. The video footage must include footage of nearby trees, if the event is held outside, so the judging panel can assess whether the wind speed is legal (calm or gentle breeze).

 

Running the Longest Airtime Event

1-4.  Same as Furthest Distance event

  1. Instruct students that they are not allowed a run-up. They can just take a few steps below they launch their plane and they must have at least one foot in contact with the ground when the plane is released.
  2. The number of throwers at a time is determined by the number of stopwatches and helpers available e.g. if a school has 4 stopwatches, then organise 4 timekeeper helpers and you can have 4 students throwing at the one time to speed up the event.
  3. Start the timing for each throw when the plane is first released from the thrower’s hand and stop the timing when the plane first comes into contact with the ground.
  4. Record each time on the School Paper Plane Challenge Recording Sheet.
  5. Students collect their plane after their throw and move to the end of the line for their second throw. They may use their original plane or make a new one for their second throw.
  6. At the end of the competition work out the 6 longest airtimes and transfer the name, year level, email address and the best airtimes of each of the 6 winning students to the Final Results sheet. Also transfer the names of other students who made the qualifying airtime of 5 seconds or more to the Final Results Sheet.
  7. Go to the Registration form on the Young Scientist Paper Plane Challenge website and register all students who intend to come to the finals at Sydney University. It is important that if teachers fill out the Registration details online, they will need all the detail listed on the Final Results Sheet.
  8. High Flyer Paper Plane Challenge schools need only send in the video footage of the top three student throws. The video footage must include footage of nearby trees, if the event is held outside, so the judging panel can assess whether the wind speed is legal (calm or gentle breeze).

13 comments

  1. Wee Waa High is holding an event May 21. Entry donations to Cure Brain Cancer Foundation.

  2. I hope Wee Waa High’s event today was a success and you were able to raise money for the Cure Brain Cancer Foundation and have an enjoyable time while participating in the event. If you have any photos I would love to share them on a media gallery, that we will set up.

    Stuart

  3. There is no time limit for the folding, however, they must fold their plane unaided on the table where they are directed.
    Stuart

  4. I am going to attempt running a small qualifying session this week at my son’s primary school. Sadly our school does very little, if any, STEM activities.

  5. Dear Kirsty, let me know if you need any support from us, such as an email to the relevant staff members or school leadership.
    Stuart

  6. Hi, I am running a qualifying session at Jugiong Public School, on Monday the 3rd, August. We were lucky enough to have a session with the “Paper Pilots” in Illabo, NSW. It was fantastic and the students are very excited about our school event. I will be entering via the Regional Competition and there is a student who is wanting to enter the Sydney Competition. Is this ok? Do I need to register the school or just send in results with registration after the event?
    Thanks, Karina

  7. Absolutely fine to have one student come to Sydney, but just make sure that student does not enter the Regional Competition as well. There is no need to register the school, just each qualifying student on our online registration system before 5pm, Monday 24th August. All the best, Stuart!

  8. Can you advise if Wollongong falls into regional?

    I wondering if I can submit 6 finalists or just 3 online ones.

  9. Wollongong students have the choice to enter the Regional High Flyers competition or attend the Young Scientist Paper Plane Challenge at Sydney University.

  10. Hello! We are having a paper plane challenge tomorrow at Tallong Public School to celebrate National Science Week. Some students have asked me if they can bring a pre-made plane to the folding table so that they can copy it when they are folding their plane on-site before they throw. Is this allowed?
    Many thanks,
    Georgie (Science teacher)

  11. Georgie, that is fine to have a pre-made plane at the folding table. They are not allowed any help from other people, in the folding process.

  12. St Paul’s Grammar School has just held it Science Week Paper Planes Competition and it was a huge success! Students from Pre K to Year 12 were involved and this whole school event was loved by all. We even launched a giant 3.8m corflute plane off a 10m platform – and it soared! We will be sending eager finalist to the NSW Competition on Saturday. Thanks for this great initiative.

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