Here’s a quick project to cut out on the scroll saw. Scroll saws are small, cheap, versatile tools that can cut through all sorts of thin materials, such as plastics, wood, plywood and cardboard. They have a very, very low risk factor for younger makers too.
If you don’t have access to a scroll saw, use a coping saw and cut out the piece by hand.
To make this paper airplane launcher, cut out and trace the template onto a piece of 1/2” or thinner plywood. Cut out the launcher. Sand the edges smooth and finish as desired.
To use, make a paper airplane as usual. Punch a hole in the plane, tie a rubber band into the hole. Place the rubber band in the launching slot, pull back and watch it fly!
I play tested this design with my own youngsters and the local Cub Scout packs. This project makes a great “make it, take it” exercise – the kids design an airplane, learn about flight, experiment with the launcher then make an improved airplane. I might pair this with my glider project in a middle school classroom. We even took it a step farther and built some balsa gliders to see if we could hot rod them a bit….
A great building block for a short activity or a foundation for a longer, involved curriculum unit. Have fun!
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