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A Fun Way to Learn about the Concept of Kinetic Energy Using Paper Planes

By Hani Purwanti, Grade IV A teacher at SDN Ngoto, Sleman

A Fun Way to Learn about the Concept of Kinetic Energy Using Paper Planes
The students are assisted by teachers as they make paper planes.

BANTUL, YOGYAKARTA – Paper planes, which are usually only made for playing around, have been used for teaching Grade 4 students at SD Ngoto. The students were learning about the concept of 'changes in motion due to the influence of air'.

Their teacher, Hani Purwanti, started the lesson by explaining changes in motion due to the influence of air. She asked her students: "Have you ever made a toy plane using paper? How can a paper plane be made to fly well?"

Ariel Fernando, a student sitting in front of the teacher, immediately raised his hand. "I have, mam. I've made lots of them. There were those that could fly, and those that could not fly. Depending on the design, mam, especially the wings," said Ariel.

Hearing Ariel's answer, Hani smiled and complimented Ariel. "It's interesting, right? With their different shapes, there are aircraft that fly well, but there are others which are less good. That's what we will study today. Why does it happen like that? We will conduct an experiment to answer this question: how can we make a paper plane that can fly well?" she said, distributing worksheets to the students and three sheets of A4 paper.

Preparing to ?y a paper plane.

After handing out these worksheet and pieces of paper, the teacher asked some students to come to the front of the class. Then she showed them an example of making a paper plane and let them try flying it. The students observed carefully. Then, on their own, they tried making paper planes using their own designs.

Attar, the leader of one group, tried to fly his group's first paper plane that he and his friends had made. It turned out that the result was not good. Then he changed the design of the planes for the second and third experiments.

Students observed whether the paper planes they had made could fly well, and, if not, the students were asked to find what cause the was. Students also observed the paper planes which that gave the best results.

Students report on their results after trying to ?y three different types of paper plane.

Students wrote reports individually about their work and the teacher guided them and explained the format for writing a report. The best report was selected by the teacher and the student was asked to read it in front of the class, while the other students gave feedback.

"One of my planes flew and turned back towards me and there was one that nosedived and crashed. But there was one that flew smoothly. I learned how to fly planes with big and small designs. I also know the narrower the wings of the paper plane the shorter the distance it flies. In fact, initially I thought that the broader the paper plane's surface, the shorter the distance it would fly," said Alifian, one of the students, during his presentation.

The teacher made a worksheet to guide the students as they conduct the experiment.

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