Design a Paper Flying Machine

Design a Paper Flying Machine

Lesson 3 of 5 in this unit

  • Primary
  • Year 5 - 6
  • Humanities and Social Sciences
  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Histories and Cultures
  • Technology
  • Design and Technologies
  • Social
  • Indigenous Education
  • ...

Lesson summary

Have you ever wondered how aeroplanes get off the ground and rocket through the sky? In this lesson, students learn about Taylah Griffin, the first indigenous Australian woman to become an Electrical and Aerospace Engineer! Get ready for this hands on STEM lesson, where students engineer a paper flight machine that really goes the distance.

Learning intentions:

Students will...

  • learn about Taylah Griffin and her STEM journey
  • examine everyday tools and equipment to betterunderstand design features and functions
  • follow the Design Thinking process to design a flight machine.

Success criteria:

Students can...

  • explain the work that Taylah Griffin does 
  • explain the function of particular design features  
  • demonstrate their ability to use the Design Thinking process to design a flight machine.

Lesson guides and printables

Student Worksheet
Teacher content info
Lesson plan

Lesson details

Curriculum mapping

Australian Curriculum (v9.0) content descriptions:

Design and Technologies:

Students learn to:

  • explain how characteristics and properties of materials, systems, components, tools and equipment affect their use when producing designed solutions (AC9TDE6K05)

investigate needs or opportunities for designing, and the materials, components, tools, equipment and processes needed to create designed solutions (AC9TDE6P01).

General capabilities: Critical and Creative ThinkingLiteracy

Syllabus outcomes: ST3-2DP-T, ST3-3DP-T

Cross-curriculum priority: SustainabilityAboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Histories and Cultures

Relevant parts of Year 5 achievement standards:
Students share and communicate ideas or content to an audience using technical terms, graphical representation techniques and appropriate digital tools. They develop project plans, including production processes, and select technologies and techniques to safely produce designed or digital solutions.

Resources required

  • device capable of playing audiovisual recordings, such as an iPad or laptop.
  • digital resources: Design maker squad App by PBS (optional & teacher preference)
  • everyday objects for demonstration (tongs, fork, scissors, stapler etc)
  • masking tape
  • paper A4 ( combination of recycled or coloured)
  • paper straws
  • recycled materials (cardboard, paper wrapping)
  • tin foil
  • wax paper

Skills

This lesson is designed to build students’ competencies in the following skills:

  • Collaboration
  • Problem-solving
  • Prototyping
  • Curiosity
  • Leadership
  • Initiative
  • Adaptability
  • Digital literacy
  • Cultural understanding
  • Creativity
  • Communication
  • Reflection

Additional info

This is a standalone lesson within the Bridging the Digital Divide Unit. For more practical activities that enhance the digital literacy of primary school students and to learn more about other First Nations Australian Leaders in Digital Technology, head to the rest of the Unit!

Level of teacher scaffolding:  High - facilitate group organisation, class discussions, digital content, assist with paper aeroplane building and experimentation.

Special thanks to:
Cool Australia would like to thank and acknowledge the support of the auDA Foundation enabling us to create these lessons.

Related professional learning

Digital technologies for STEM classrooms

Quick Summary:

This course will be most useful for proficient generalist teachers of middle (years 3 & 4) and upper (years 5 & 6) primary, and for STEM secondary teachers, specifically science and design and technology subjects.

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