- Paper clips (about 10-20 per student)
- This is an inquiry activity where students design their own experiments. Following are general rules for making a paper helicopter.
- Once the helicopter is made, the students can pick a dependent and independent variable to investigate
- Take a piece of paper and cut a T shape out of the paper as shown in the diagram below
- Cut the top of the top half of the T almost in half along the dotted line
- Fold one end of the T towards you along the dashed line and one end away from you along the dashed line
- Place a couple of paper clips on the bottom of the T
- Release the paper helicopter from a height and watch is spiral to the ground
- Have students make a paper helicopter, then have them list as many different variables about the helicopter as they can think of
- Have students decide on one dependent and independent variable that they can investigate
- Have students design an experiment testing theses variable being sure they include a method to control the variables they are not changing or measuring
Here is a list of some other experiments that lend themselves to the type of student directed research that many schools have come to expect from students. These products allow students to explore to change and measure several different variables.
Fan Cart with Sail. Students can change parameters such as angle of sail, mass of cart, etc. in order to measure the speed of the cart. Several creative ideas are possible with this versatile tool.
Use a miniature wind tunnel to have students change parameters of an object (wing), or the wind speed and measure the amount of lift the wing is given.
Have students investigate how to make things cook faster with a solar furnace.