The Engineering Design Process

This week's Family Friday will deepen your understanding of the engineering design process. In our Physical Science and Engineering series, you will be introduced to important science concepts. Read our step-by-step guide on how to create a paper helicopter using everyday items. Have fun!


What you need:

  • Scissors
  • A paperclip
  • Pre-made printable template (here)

Step 1

Open your Footsteps2Brilliance App and go to Level 3 (Blue). In the Physical Science and Engineering series, read the book Engineering Design Process.

Step 2

Print out the template or draw your own using the measurements on the template.

Step 3

The template is for 2 helicopters.

Cut along the dark black line to cut the paper in half.


Step 4

Make cuts 1, 2, and 3 along the dotted lines.


Step 5

Make fold 1.

Step 6

Make fold 2, it will sit on top of fold 1.

Step 7

Before completing folds 3 and 4, fold the top half (the overlapping paper from folds 1 and 2) in half towards the center.

Step 8

Fold this piece in half one more time and secure with a paperclip.

Step 9

Make fold 3.

Step 10

Make fold 4.

Step 11

Now you are ready to "fly" your paper helicopter! Stand on a chair and drop it with the paperclip towards the ground to see it spin.

Can you make the helicopter fall faster/slower by adding weight (more paperclips)?

Try making another helicopter with a different size piece of paper (You can find templates here). Does this change how fast it falls? When the Wright Brothers created the airplane, they had to make many different models before finding success.

"I haven't failed -- I've just found 10,000 that won't work." - Thomas Edison

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