- 1 hours 30 minutes
- Social and Emotional Skills
6Schedule 05/06/21 08:00 AM Paper Airplane Factory Paper Airplanes is designed to engage students in the process of rapid prototyping in small groups while dealing with the challenges of scarcity, risk and a high potential for failure. Students are given the seemingly simple task of flying paper airplanes from 10 ft. distance from their computer screens with https://teacheverywhere.org/activity/paper-airplane-factory/Print
Paper Airplanes is designed to engage students in the process of rapid prototyping in small groups while dealing with the challenges of scarcity, risk and a high potential for failure. Students are given the seemingly simple task of flying paper airplanes from 10 ft. distance from their computer screens with the potential for a 100% profit if they are successful. As the game progresses, however, the rates of success and failure will drive them to change their strategy by creating new opportunities to profit by innovating their approach and redefining, for themselves, what success looks like. Their goal is to make profit by creating a quality paper aircraft that is able to fly the distance. Along with the plane’s capability, teams are challenged to streamline their productivity, manage their costs, maintain quality, and seek profitability.
*Paper Airplanes virtual activity guidance was created by educator Zac Kliewer.
Share with your class that today they are going to be airplane manufacturers for your Airplane purchasing company. There is an increased demand for airplanes that can fly long distances (10 ft) with great accuracy. However, you need the airplanes made FAST! You are going to pay each group $10 YE for any plane that successfully hits their computer screen but (pause for dramatic effect) each test flight will cost them $5 YE.
Social and Emotional Skills
- Students will experience an opportunity to explore and recognize Self-Awareness and the strengths of others in their group as they choose roles to complete the activity. During the activity, students may feel a change in their emotions as it relates to their roles and working virtually as well as during the flying portion of the activity. Students may feel excited, overwhelmed, frustrated, and other feelings if their paper airplanes are or are not successful and when their success rate is compared to other groups.
- This activity has an element that will challenge the students’ Responsible Decision-Making. Because there is a cost to flying each flight and a price awarded for each successful flight, students will need to thoughtfully consider their opportunities and weigh the risks and rewards. After their flight rounds, students can evaluate their experience and determine what their next steps will be for future tests. Because decisions need to be made quickly, discussing this process and the steps related to Responsible Decision Making during the debrief may yield great discussion and reflection for all students.
- Determine which platform you will use to share the activity with students.
- Review the activity guide.
- Ensure students will have enough copy paper prior to the date you plan to play the activity. Consider mailing 25 sheets to every student with other classroom supplies as needed. If you would like to save on the cost of postage, consider ways to send materials home if students are picking up meals from the school at any time. If you plan to send a tape measure, please include this in your materials to the students at this time.
- Even if a student doesn’t use their paper, they can keep it handy for other activities!
- Upload worksheets and rules sheets to your classroom platform for students to access.
- Determine how you will engage students in the debrief following the activity.
SETTING THE STAGE
- Tell students that they will be randomly grouped together in groups of 4-5 and sent to break out rooms once directions are completed.
- Remind them that today they are forming companies that are designing, testing, flying, and if successful, selling paper airplanes.
- Tell students that you, the teacher, are the customer and that you will buy any airplane that can be successfully flown from the launch area (10 ft. away from their computer at home) and touches their computer screen.
- Remind them that for every successful plane flown, the group will receive $10 YE. However, for every attempt, they will pay $5 YE. All group accounts will be settled at the end of the activity.
- Note for the educator – it is completely up to you how you reconcile any group that ends up owing you at the end. Make sure you treat all groups equally in this regard. It is encouraged that you do not simply provide a “bailout” to groups who ended up in the negative at the end. If you play this activity after students have built up wealth from other activities, make sure to impress upon them at the beginning of the activity that you DO plan to collect any negative balances so make financial choices wisely.
- Finally, share with students that because of the safety issues involved in testing experimental aircraft, there are very important rules that they must follow, and all violations will be strictly punished according to the rule sheet.
READING THE RULES
- Read aloud all rules from the Paper Airplane Sheet
- Ask students if they have any questions before sending them to breakout rooms.
- Remind students that you will give them 2 minutes to strategize and they may NOT handle or manipulate the paper. Because they will be in breakout rooms, remind students that one Foundational Value is to Be Principled and always act with integrity– together they will be using an honor system to ensure this specific rule is followed. If you find out that a group did not follow the rule, one suggested consequence is to charge them double for flying that pre-folded airplane and not awarding any money if it is successful.
- After 2 minutes of strategizing, you will bring them back into the main room and share with them that they will have 5 minutes for folding their stash of airplanes they wish to fly. Prior to sending them to breakout rooms, explain that each student will have a role within the company
- The following roles will need to be selected/assigned–
- 1-2 Research & Development staff (I.e. Can use the internet to find paper airplane resources)
- 1 Folder/Flyer
- 1 Accountant – manages the attempt and success sheet
- 1 Compliance Officer – ensures the rules are adhered to
- The following roles will need to be selected/assigned–
- Ask for any remaining questions and start the 2-minute strategy session.
STRATEGY SESSION + FLYING ROUNDS
- After a 2-minute strategy session, begin 5 minute folding time.
- After 5 minutes, bring all back to the main room and ask for team volunteers to fly their planes.
- Keep track of the number of attempts and successes on the Paper Airplanes Score Sheet as they test their paper airplanes. This will make calculating their costs and revenues easier.
- Each paper airplane must be 4 inches in length at least and have wings.
- Remind students that once they have tested their plane, regardless of success or failure, that plane is now “dead” and can no longer be used.
- Share with students their productivity for their accountant to double-check their numbers. This also encourages competition amongst the groups.
- Repeat the strategy and folding sessions (5 minutes total) until you have completed 4 rounds of testing/flying.
- Pro-tip: During the rounds, you might see students watching how the others made their successful paper airplanes and asking one another for tips or advice. Let these behaviors happen! As long as they are in compliance do not stop them. These behaviors will give you more to discuss during the debrief and throughout the class.
- After 4 rounds of testing/flying, calculate the total profit for each group.
- Pay each group. Allow each group to determine how they want to divide their profits amongst the group members.
Students can complete the debrief in many ways. Some options include on paper, in a group setting via any virtual call platform, or by recording their feedback using EdTech tools and sharing with their classmates.
- Which strategy did you go with?
- Rapid Prototyping – “Fail fast, fail cheap.” – Why is it important for a company to understand and implement this way of thinking?
- Shared Vision – Was it easy or difficult to work with your team? Would it have been better working alone? Why or why not?
- Specialization – How did you decide who would take on each role? Did you change roles between rounds? Why or why not? Did your group have a comparative advantage over other groups? What was it and how did you use it to your advantage?
- Scarcity – What role did scarcity play in your decision making? In what way did your group experience scarcity? How did your team deal with the issue of scarcity?
- Intellectual Property – Should they bring up “stealing ideas”/”cheating”? Does this happen in the market? Do entrepreneurs “steal” ideas from one another? Does this help or hurt the market? Can you protect your ideas?
- Opportunity Cost – What was the opportunity cost of investing in research and development vs. testing more planes?
- In what way does this activity relate to the real world? How can you use this information when preparing for Market Day? How can you use this information in making business plan decisions?
- Division of profit – How did you decide to divide the profit? Were all roles valued equally?
- Opportunity Cost – Opportunity cost is the value of the next best thing you give up when you make a decision. What was an opportunity cost you encountered in this activity?
- Comparative Advantage – The ability to produce a particular good or service at a lower marginal and opportunity cost over another. What was your comparative advantage?
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