Flying paper planes

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Very visual and interactive and simple to understand

Lesson idea. Geogebra has been used to produce an animated tutorial of an origami paper aeroplane). Once the plane has been made, experiments with throwing the plane show that it does not fly in a parabolic curve, as a ball would. An interactive geogebra spreadsheet shows how a ball would fall. Another geogebra spreadsheet demonstrates the flight trajectory of the plane. I have also produced a word document describing very simply, how the plane flies.

Teaching approach. This lesson features a ‘real life’ example for students to explore using visualisation(ta) via GeoGebra. The focus on ‘real life’ increases student motivation.

The activity engages pupils in group talk(ta), mathematical thinking(ta) and vocabulary(ta). This open ended(ta) task encourages higher order(ta) thinking, and encourages whole class(ta) discussion(ta)/questioning(ta) and inquiry(ta) projects. (edit)

Resource details
Title Flying paper planes
Topic Visualisation
Teaching approach
Format / structure

wiki page with downloadable .doc version

Age of students / grade

Related ORBIT Wiki Resources

This activity was a result of the GeoGebraSTEM exploration day umbrella activity which asked students to develop 'real world' GeoGebra mathematical modeling applications which reach out to a wide range of users both students and teachers. It is described in their own words.

Files and resources to view and download

Here are three simple to use GeoGebra activities produced by the students which can be used to both understand flight and further stimulate new students. The first is an Origami tutorial:

The second shows parabolas:

The third shows a plane's flight:

This is accompanied by an excellent description: