5th Grade - Integrated Lesson - Paper Airplane
The integrated lesson is designed to blend math content learning and science standards where the science standards are the means to apply the math learning.


Standards

Math
5.NBT.A.3b - Compare two decimals to thousandths based on meanings of the digits in each place, using >, =, and < symbols to record the results of comparisons
5.MD.A.1 -
Convert among different-sized standard measurement units within a given measurement system (e.g., convert 5 cm to 0.05 m), and use these conversions in solving multi-step, real world problems.


Science
SPI 0507.12.1 - Recognize that the earth attracts objects without touching them.

SPI 0507.12.3 - Use data to determine how shape affects the rate at which a material falls to earth.

SPI 0507.11.1 - Explain the relationship that exist among mass, force, and distance traveled.

CFU 0507.11.1 - Predict how the amount of mass affects the distance traveled given the same amount of applied force.

Brainstorming

List a modification used to make a “regular” paper airplane go farther. Use “Answer Garden” to write your modification.

Either click this link, http://answergarden.ch/view/184339 , or use the Answer Garden embedded below.




Pre-assessment

(Record the answers in your journal/paper.)
  1. For this activity you are using ONLY ONE of the modifications (variables) to test, which is to make it heavier. This variable is called your independent variable; it is the ONE thing you change in the experiment. Pick an independent variable, from the list, that you can increase (for example- to make it heavier, which one of the provided materials will you use?).
    • Describe how you will make modifications for this variable. (For example, when you change the weight, how will you add weight?)
  2. The purpose of running trials is to determine how far the plane is able to fly. This distance is what you will measure. In an experiment what you are measuring is called the dependent variable, because the distance it flies is dependent on the independent variable you are changing. Because you won’t get the same distance every time, you will need to run two trials, one for each version of the paper airplane-initial and modified version. You should do your best to use the same technique each time. These are called “constants.” Constants are the ways you keep the environment and methods the same so they won’t influence your results.
    • What are constants you will use to help keep both trials the same? (Make sure to look at your Airplane Assembly instructions.)
  3. A hypothesis is a statement that describes a connection between your independent variable and dependent variable. For example, “If I use a heavier item, like a pencil, to increase the weight of my plane, it will fly farther.”
    • What is your hypothesis for your experiment?
  4. After filling in the table below, look at the mass of the modified planes.
    • Predict which trial (group #1, #2, #3, #4, etc.) will fly the farthest?
    • Which trial will fly the shortest distance?




Airplane Assembly Instructions:

  1. After creating the plane, from the instructions, measure the mass (to the nearest thousandth) and the length and width (to the nearest centimeter-cm.). Input the data into the Google Drive Spreadsheet, https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1Xtg6BzGw_PbJM9gF_gRLuylFBArqs6X8aOxVM1SvAfA/copy#gid=190966003
  2. Launch the plane by pulling the plane back to your shoulder (no further) and throwing it. Using a stopwatch, time how long it takes the plane to land.
  3. Record the time, to the hundredths.
  4. Measure the distance and convert it to meters in fractions and input the data into the Google Drive Spreadsheet.
  5. Modify the plane using ONLY ONE of the following items (you can use scotch tape to attach if needed):
    • Aluminum foil- one square
    • Toothpick
    • Binder clip
    • Paper clip
    • Drinking straw
    • Popsicle stick
  6. After modifying the plane, measure the mass (to the nearest thousandth) and the length and width (to the nearest cm) and input the data into the Google Drive Spreadsheet https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1Xtg6BzGw_PbJM9gF_gRLuylFBArqs6X8aOxVM1SvAfA/copy#gid=190966003 .
  7. Launch the plane by pulling the plane back to your shoulder (no further) and throwing it. Using a stopwatch, time how long it takes the plane to land.
  8. Record the time, to the hundredths input the data into the Google Drive Spreadsheet.
  9. Measure the distance and convert it to meters in fractions.

The table below is now in VIEW ONLY mode. You may still make a copy of it, but must be signed into a Google account to do so. Once your are signed in, go to the FILE menu in the Google Sheet and choose "Make a Copy". A window will open. Choose to share with the same people. You will also need to go to the SHARE button once the copy is in your Google Drive to change to "Anyone with a link can EDIT." to allow students to work in the document.






Post-assessment

(Record in your journal/paper.)
  1. Which group did you predict would go the farthest? (From pre-assessment question #5.)
    • Were you correct? Why do you think that is?
  2. Which group did you predict would go the shortest distance? (From pre-assessment question #5.)
    • Were you correct? Why do you think that is?
  3. How do you know that your hypothesis was or was not supported?
  4. How do you know that the independent variable (what you changed) influenced the dependent variable (how far it flew)? Be sure to include the evidence that you saw or wrote, during this activity, in your answer.




References:
Teacher modified for CMCSS STEM Summer Training from http://www.stemmom.org/2012/04/airplane-lab-to-teach-scientific-method.html

Making a Shareable Spreadsheet Document in GoogleDrive


SonicDad Airplane Launcher
http://www.sonicdad.com/project-details/paper-airplane-launcher/

Downloadable Resources