Teach Investigative Science with a Simple Glider

Picture of Teach Investigative Science with a Simple Glider

I've been using this glider to teach general science skills for some time, and so many colleagues have reacted positively to it, I thought I'd share it with the wider world.

Don't worry; if you only want to learn how to make the glider, I'll make the educational parts obvious so that you can skip over them.

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Step 1: Making the basic glider

Picture of Making the basic glider

I may be boasting, but this glider is one of the simplest, and most elegant gliders I know. I started out using more complex gliders in lessons, but I found I was spending more time teaching how to make gliders than I was working towards the lesson objectives. Over time, I simplified the glider to the point where learners refuse to believe it will fly, until they see it in action.

Start with a rectangle of paper. For convenience and scale, I typically start with a sheet of A6 paper - a normal piece of A4, cut into four parts:

  1. Fold the long edge of the paper over about 3-5mm, about five or six times.
  2. With the folded edge faced down, drag the paper over the edge of a desk to make it curve.

That's it, you're finished. If you've made it right, you should have a piece of paper, curved like a gentle smile, with a folded edge sitting on top of the smile.

Alternative design:

If you find you cannot make a curved glider fly straight, you can, instead, switch to a single crease down the centre of the glider (see the last photo). This option also makes step 7 a bit easier.

SparkySolar9 months ago

This is so nice,-

Thank you;


Kiteman (author)  SparkySolar9 months ago

And thank you for your kind words!

vishalapr1 year ago

This taught me quite a bit! The variables bit was soo easy to understand! Voted :D and great instructable!!

Kiteman (author)  vishalapr1 year ago

Thank you!

Feel free to share it with any other students or teachers you know.

Actually a teacher of mine told me about this xD, and the rest of the class!

Kiteman (author)  vishalapr1 year ago


Tell them about this link, where teachers can get a free Pro membership:

Educational and fun projects like this are so valuable!