How to make the ultimate paper aeroplane and other fun STEM learning activities for kids

Sebby paper plane

Like many households, we have gone back to home learning today after a half term break and it is safe to say the kids are not really feeling it.

I have found the key to helping them at home, is to vary the work. Lots of things are coming in from school, but it is mainly maths and english based, which isn’t always fun.

One thing that fell into my inbox last week, was how to make the ultimate paper aeroplane and I knew instantly that it would get the kids attention.

Thousands of aeroplanes may currently be grounded, but the excitement of flight is just a piece of paper away.

TV science presenter and STEM Ambassador Dallas Campbell has worked with engineers to share a design for the ultimate paper aeroplane. Requiring just a piece of A4 paper, a credit card (or similar) and a meticulous folding technique, children can achieve a true feat in aerospace engineering.

The plane really does fly and despite some breezy weather, it has made some impressive flights in and around the house. We even lost one on top of the flat roof because it flew so well.

Sebby paper plane

Dallas, who has presented shows including Bang Goes the Theory, The Gadget Show and Stargazing Live, also explores other stories of amazing everyday-engineering in a new film. These include how engineers for bra manufacturer Playtex went on to design Neil Armstrong’s space suit (as well as the incredible engineering behind both items of clothing), plus how engineers created a bacon sandwich (with oversight from Heston Blumenthal) that could be taken into space at the request of British astronaut Tim Peake. The film is part of a range of home learning resources that have been made available for parents and teachers by STEM Learning at www.stem.org.uk/home-learning.

To complement the video, STEM Learning has shared ‘The Great British Space Dinner’ (lessons about food in space) and ‘Space Suit Science’ (creating your own space suit) to enable children and their parents to complete fun activities at home.

Suitable for all ages, from 4-19, STEM Learning has carefully selected more than 300 activities and materials from its bank of over 14,000 free resources to support teachers, parents and carers with home learning, with a particular focus on STEM subjects including science, computing and maths.

The home learning resources were launched last month by STEM Ambassador, Tim Peake who, in his short film for STEM learning, shared the secrets of loo roll use in space and news on how COVID-19 could affect the International Space Station.

13 thoughts on “How to make the ultimate paper aeroplane and other fun STEM learning activities for kids

  1. Neha says:

    This brings back so many childhood memories. It is a great idea and ensuring it sails well is so key! Love the addition of the video. Thanks for sharing

  2. Kristina says:

    This is so cute, I used to be a pro at making paper airplanes! haha

  3. Melanie williams says:

    Love the simple things in life. this takes me back to my childhood days for sure. Loving the paper plane x

  4. Beth says:

    My youngest two were making paper aeroplanes today as one of their home learning activities. They loved it

  5. Emma Smith says:

    This is brilliant! My youngest son is majorly into space at the moment, so we’ll definitely be taking a look at the space activities 🙂

  6. Becky says:

    My daughter had to make a paper aeroplane as one of her online school projects. I’m sure these videos would have made it more fun!

  7. Afshan Nasim says:

    This looks like a very fun activity and the learning element must have been too. I love your description and the aeronautics of it all. Well done
    Afshan Nasim recently posted…Eid and MayMy Profile

  8. Rhian westbury says:

    STEM activities are so important, especially during this time when kids aren’t in school. I remember doing a paper aeroplane exercise at work once which was lots of fun x

  9. This is pretty cool, its a great idea, personally I’ve always been rubbish at making paper aeroplanes as i could never get it quite right, but projects like this are great additions to home schooling.

  10. Sarah Bailey says:

    There is something about making a paper aeroplane isn’t there? It’s amazing how the design really does make such a difference to how it flies and how far it goes.
    Sarah Bailey recently posted…Great British Teddies: ReviewMy Profile

  11. My daughter recently did a similar project for school when she made a helicopter, I would have preferred to make an aeroplane instead so will show her this
    Yeah Lifestyle recently posted…Father’s Day Giveaway & Review: Nixplay Smart Photo Frame 10.1*My Profile

  12. MELANIE EDJOURIAN says:

    My kiddies love making paper aeroplanes although they don’t always work so well. Mine are trying to get out of their Maths and English homework where they can now.

  13. Making paper airplanes is always fun, no matter what age you are! We’ve always had competitions over the years to make the best one ever! Sim

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