Dear Educators,

Welcome to the Great Paper Airplane Fly-Off! Like you, we want to help inspire students to pursue studies in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM). The Fly-Off is an exciting way to engage students and interest them in the science of flight.

We would also like to help you introduce the concepts of aerodynamics and aviation to your students. That’s why we created this resource page. On this page you’ll find a lesson plan, templates for folding paper airplanes, a suggested reading list, and links to other websites with resources for teaching the science of flight.

Additionally, we would welcome and encourage your participation in making students, teachers and parents aware of the Fly-Off. You might even consider holding a “School Fly-Off” as part of your school’s activities or science curriculum. If you would like training or assistance in holding your own Fly-Off or presenting lesson plans on the forces of flight, please contact me at

Mina Stafford

Mina Stafford

Curator of Education
Pima Air & Space Museum

P.S.  Leading up to the Fly-Off, the museum is also offering “How Things Fly” workshops on the third Saturday of each month at 1 PM. During these workshops students will learn about air pressure, aerodynamics, and the four forces of flight. These programs are FREE with paid admission to the museum. If you’re interested, I’m happy to work with you to make this an extra credit opportunity for your students.

Sample Lesson Plan
This sample lesson plan will show you what paper airplanes can teach your students.

Teacher’s Guide
This is a teacher’s guide for the Kids’ Paper Airplane Book by world record holder and aeronautical engineer Ken Blackburn and mechanical engineer Jeff Lammers (available from Amazon or the Pima Air & Space Museum store).

Paper Airplane Patterns:

Suggested Reading List:

Useful Links: