Home Up Site Map Light Pollution What's New? Upcoming Events

Paper Plate Education
"Serving the Universe on a Paper Plate"

Activity: Alien Platecraft

Platecraft Three.jpg (375260 bytes)  

Rainbow_turntable-_spinning.jpg (18575 bytes)Place a paper plate with a small hole cut out of its center onto a phonographic record player (remember them?).  Heavy stock plates work best. 


Rainbow_turntable.jpg (21532 bytes)With the plate spinning at 77 rpm, hold a marker on the plate and move the marker across the moving surface.  Repeat with colored markers on both sides of the plate.   


Platecraft_zinger.jpg (28240 bytes)Fold the edge of the plate under, and give it a very stiff crease so it holds the shape of a Frisbee®.  Fling the plate with a flick of your wrist as you would a commercial disc. 


You will be surprised to see how far your Alien Platecraft will fly compared to an unadulterated paper plate.   Note the improved flight qualities and quantify the difference in flight distance.  Perhaps tape pennies or other weights on the underside edge to see how added mass there changes the flight.  Discuss how the properties of the modified plate contribute to its improved performance.  

Contributed by Chuck Bueter.

Reference: GLPA Proceedings, 1999, p.37.


Home Activities! Site Map Light Pollution What's New? Upcoming Events
The contents of this site may be reproduced for non-profit educational purposes only.  Please cite the contributing author  in credits.  
All other uses require the express written permission of the respective contributors.

Copyright ©2012 Chuck Bueter.  All rights reserved.