Helicopters have propellers that let them move sideways, and up and down. They are able to hover, which means they can stay in the air even though they are not moving. In this activity, students can see the movement of a miniature helicopter, and compare it to seeds or leaves traveling in the air. Helicopters are affected by weight, shape, and surface area. Weight, lift, thrust, and drag are the most important factors in flight and should be discussed as part of this activity. Making helicopters helps us to compare and contrast various characteristics of flight.
In this activity, students construct a paper “copter” and investigate some of the factors that determine how the copter works. Click the following link for the complete worksheet.