Paper Aeroplanes

I wanted to have my S3 class collect data in order to draw comparative boxplots and write a comparison.

Over the last few years we have measured heights, arm span, hops, reaction times, …. so what could we do that was different?


This is something that most pupils try to make in class without permission – so let’s give them permission.

Here’s how it worked:

Each pupil had to make a paper aeroplane and then throw it once and measure the distance it had travelled. This was attempt 1.

Then the pupils had to alter or remake their paper aeroplane based on the first attempt. They threw the aeroplanes again and measured the distance travelled.

The class then recorded the results and drew comparative boxplots from the data. The results showed that the distances travelled improved vastly in the second attempt. The pupils had seen the good aeroplanes from the first attempt and made appropriate improvements.

Interestingly, the part the pupils found the most difficult was copying down all the results from the board without missing a number.

I got inspiration for this from



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