Do you remember folding paper in multiple ways to fly planes across the field at recess or even in the room when the teacher wasn’t facing the class? Usually, the planes were on white notebook or copy paper and flew fast or slow (depending on your design). I preferred making those fancy open and close paper thingamajig or better yet designing those fancy rose petal drawings that fill up the entire paper (length and width).
Now we all know all things come to an end or they are upgraded and improved. This brings me back to the plain paper planes that would entertain kids for quite some time. During, ISTE18 Conference in Chicago, I came across a company called PowerUp Toys .
They took paper planes to a new level by allowing them to be battery operated and controlled by smartphones. Who does that? They did and did it well.
I came across this company through KEH Communications (find them at http://www.kehcomm.com/ or on Twitter @KEHappenings) who was able to secure a Powerup Dart for one of the #PasstheScopeEDU challenge giveaways.
Shai Goitein tells us a little more about the company and some of its product. The sound on the Exhibition Hall was a bit noisy ( I should have attached my external mic). Listen to him here.
Now play is not for just the young but also those that are young at heart. Surprisingly, when the challenge was announced, I thought we would get the PE Teachers and young teachers knocking down the booth’s setup. Ironically, one of the first ones to arrive was a couple that worked in Cedar Bluff, AL. They were so excited to have a full on tutorial and test trials with Shai Goitein before actually competing against each other. I am proud to say that GIRLS ROCK and Ms. Bishop took home the prize. Because, they were both great sports–Shai decided they should each take one home. They were estatic but moreso–think of the students that will also benefit.
How might this align to the curriculum or standards? Glad you asked. Can you find laws of physics to teach that will include gravity, weight, speed, distance, and design? How about implementing the Scientific Method and allowing them to hypothesize, infer, record observations, interpret data and analyze cause and effect through multiple variables.
As an educator, I would love to get my hands on many of these for all the kids in my class and there is an opportunity to do just that! Not only are there multiple videos, templates and challenge ideas (under projects and templates tab) on their websites.
There is a National Paper Plane Power Up Challenge for Fall 2018 in which you can register to get your class in on the hands-on learning and fun. Registration is now open until September 28, 2018 and winners will be announced in November. Prizes will be awarded and your class could be the winner of some awesome PowerUp Kits. The form is simple and quick to fill out and contest rules can be found here.
I am always about play while learning and kids being able to learn concepts in engaging ways. These products do not seem to break the ban and can be ordered through school budget or through Pledge Cents or Donors Choose. I would highly encourage educators to think about the learning styles and interests of your students in order to add something that will spark their curiosity and ignite their learning.
I look forward to seeing more from Power Up Toys in the future and the opportunity for teachers to share or even create and build additional challenges across the grade levels and beyond!