General Rules

  1. Paper planes must be made in front of a supervising adult witness using regular A4 or Quarto paper (80GSM or 90GSM).
  2. Paper planes are to be made by the student competitor.
  3. Only folding is allowed, no cutting, gluing or taping.
  4. Only one piece of paper per plane may be used.
  5. There will be two categories: Distance & Airtime.
  6. Competitors may compete in one or both categories.
  7. 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.
  8. There will be 13 age/year groups for each category. See below for age/grade groups.
  9. Video footage as evidence is required for each qualifying throw.
  10. If throwing outdoors – video footage must include footage of nearby trees showing no wind assistance or the throw will be deemed invalid.
  11. If throwing indoors – if a paper plane hits the roof or ventilation ducting then one extra throw will be granted for that particular throw.
  12. Each Distance throw must land within the marked competition area.
  13. Students must not overstep the marked ‘throwing line/mark’, if a thrower steps over the line the throw will not be counted or measured.
  14. 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).
  15. Time will be measured from the moment the plane leaves the hand to when it hits the ground or an object (whichever first).
  16. Cheating or tampering with paper will warrant immediate disqualification.
  17. Students may re-enter as many times as they like if they have an improved throw.
  18. When you enter, an adult needs to indicate whether they give permission for the video to be shared in the public domain or whether they only want the throw viewed by the judges. 


  1. Trainee Pilots: Years/Grades K – 2

  2. Junior Pilots: Years/Grades 3 – 4
  3. Master Pilots: Years/Grades 5 – 6

  4. Advanced Pilots: Years 7 – 12


To qualify for the 2021 YOUNG SCIENTIST PAPER PLANE CHALLENGE you’ll need to throw over a specific time or distance. Please refer to the below distances to make sure you qualify before entering.

YEAR K-2: Airtime: 5s | Distance: 12m

YEARS 3-4: Airtime: 5s | Distance: 15m

YEARS 5-6: Airtime: 6s | Distance: 18m

YEARS 7-12: Airtime: 6s | Distance: 20m