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Paper planes, rockets and flight

Discover forces with air resistance, lift, and thrust through hands-on explorations of paper planes, gliders, and rockets.

Paper planes, rockets and flight

A hands-on workshop exploring gravity, lift, and air resistance through making a variety of paper planes, gliders, and rockets.

In this 1 hour interactive workshop, delivered online via Zoom or a virtual platform arranged by your school, children will have the opportunity to get hands-on in a number of activities using easy-to-find household items*.

Activities include exploring gravity and air resistance using sheets of paper, investigating thrust and lift by making, evaluating, and tweaking paper aeroplane design, exploring shape, lift, and hoop gliders, and finally creating a mini rocket propelled by air.

Sessions are lead by Dr Jo online with support from staff in the classroom.

*Children will need scrap A4 paper, printed PDF activity sheets, scissors, sticky tape, and two paper straws. There may be the possibility of receiving some specialist supplies via post for schools in mainland UK. In-person workshops may also be available for schools near Cambridge. Please contact Dr Jo for further information.


Up to 33 students


From £150 for a single workshop, £500 per day.

Learning outcomes

  • Improve engagement, interest or enjoyment in STEM subjects

  • Improve attainment and progress in STEM subjects

  • Improve awareness and aspirations for STEM-related study and careers

  • Challenge stereotypes by showing the diversity of disciplines, people and skills involved in engineering


  • Materials
  • Earth and space
  • Forces
  • Structures
  • Mechanisms

Working scientifically

Whichever curriculum your school follows, pupils should have the opportunity to carry out practical investigations in science that help them to develop their scientific skills. This experience builds the following enquiry skills:

  • Asking questions
  • Setting up tests
  • Observing and measuring
  • Evaluating

Essential skills

The essential skills every young person needs to succeed in education and their future career. Find out more at the Skills Builder Partnership. This experience builds the following skills:

  • Listening - the ability to listen and understand information.

  • Problem solving - the ability to find a solution to a complex situation or challenge.

Good for a career in...

  • Aircraft
  • Construction
  • Design
  • Environment
  • Space
What the teachers say

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