I recently did an activity with students to answer a question by collecting and analysing data. I was inspired by similar activities from Bruno Reddy, Mean Paper Aeroplanes, and Julie Reulbach, Paper Airplanes for Measures of Central Tendencies. We started class by watching a video of the Paper Airplane World Championship - Red Bull Paper Wings 2015. This short video (about 3 minutes) shows the highlights of three paper airplane competitions; Distance, Airtime, and Aerobatics. After watching the video I let students know that we would be making paper airplanes for a distance competition. |

We started by brainstorming with students the characteristics of a good paper airplane that will fly a long distance. Most students have some experience in making paper airplanes. Several features that we discussed were: the shape (a glider or dart shape, wing angles), design features (symmetry, vertical flaps or a heavy nose), construction methods (sharp creases and accurate folds), materials (type of paper) and how it is thrown (launch angle, strength and accuracy of the thrower). |

## Predictions

## The Experiment

## The Results

## Reflection

Students had a handout where they were asked to reflect on how they could make this experiment more accurate and reliable. We thought that a few practice throws would help before we started collecting data (most student's last throw was their farthest distance). Another option would be to have more than three trials for each plane to increase the reliability of the data collected. There were lots of other really good suggestions as well. |

**Nova Scotia Mathematics Curriculum Outcomes**

**Extended Mathematics 11**

**S01**- Analyze, interpret, and draw conclusions from one-variable data using numerical and graphical summaries.

**Mathematics 9 SP03**- Students will be expected to develop and implement a project plan for the collection, display, and analysis of data by: formulating a question for investigation; choosing a data collection method that includes social considerations; selecting a population or a sample; collecting the data; displaying the collected data in an appropriate manner; drawing conclusions to answer the question.

- The x-axis has an inconsistent scale (sometimes 3 months, sometimes 4 months) that was automatically generated by Excel.
- Is a y-axis necessary or would a simple timeline do? Perhaps with a count below the timeline for successful land/drone ship vs failed land/drone ship landings.
- The graph doesn't indicate the two periods of investigation following launch failures.
- The choice of a line graph is a controversial one since these are discrete data points and not continuous data.
- The label on the y-axis should say "Number of successful landings to date". Otherwise it it looks like there were 9 successful landing in March 17 when there were actually 9 total successful landings by March 17.
- Using red and green dots will make this graph meaningless to people who are colorblind. You could use different symbols as well as different colors to remedy this.
- The success rate is more important than the total number of successful launches. Also, some successes are more ambitious than others (e.g. ocean/land/drone ship or the first re-used booster).
- Why not differentiate between land and drone ship landing attempts?.
- Not all launch data is included in this graph. How do you decide which launches to include (e.g. ocean landings where there was no drone ship).

## In the Classroom

**Nova Scotia Mathematics Curriculum Outcomes**

**Grade 8 SP01**- Students will be expected to critique ways in which data is presented.

**Mathematics Essentials 11 F2**- Select an effective data display for a given set of data and explain the reasons for the choice.

**Mathematics at Work 11 S01**- Students will be expected to solve problems that involve creating and interpreting graphs, including bar graphs, histograms, line graphs, and circle graphs.

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