How paper airplanes help students in AP Statistics

To gather a set of data for real-life use of statistics, students in Brianna Golka’s AP Statistics turned to … paper airplanes. Each group made two airplanes with different styles, threw them multiple times and tracked how far they flew in their air. While some differences were noticeable, the data will better show the actual results.


We just finished a chapter up on significance testing, and so right now we are testing the significance of the mean difference between how far two airplanes fly.

It really helps because it relates to the variables when we have it pick a height and a force when we throw the airplanes. So when we’re in the book it says so, but I don’t actually know how to keep it, but when outside of the classroom I learn more and do it in practice and in reality.

I think it helps us visualize more of what we are learning and it’s not just charts in a book. I think that our first plane was definitely better, but it was like the normal type that everyone basically learns how to make than the other ones. We had some issues with that one. It kind of almost went in the negative. So let’s see if our calculations are significant or not.

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