Every once in a while, something gets submitted to us that resonates, tickles, informs, and/or inspires on a really deep, satisfying level. This is one of those items. Everything about it. The project itself, these super-cool origami airplanes, made from phonebook paper, the obvious dedication of the teacher who made this video and teaches his students about the physics of flight (and one can only image how many other great lessons), the awesome video of the students, excitedly coaxing their fliers around the classroom and gymnasium. There’s something almost magical about watching these kids pushing their gossamer craft around on invisible puffs of air. Most kids use a piece of cardboard, but some even learn the delicate art of creating and directing the airwaves with their bare hands.

The origami gliders page, on Science Toy Builder, has several other equally fascinating videos about the science, construction, and flight of these planes, lots of pictures, and links to templates for building your own.

This teacher, Slater Harrison (Williamsport, PA), gets my vote for teacher of the year. [Thanks, Charlie Holden!]

Build and Surf an Origami Hang Glider on a Wave of Air

Origami spaceplane to launch from space station

Gareth Branwyn

Gareth Branwyn

Gareth Branwyn is a freelance writer and the former Editorial Director of Maker Media. He is the author or editor of over a dozen books on technology, DIY, and geek culture. He is currently a contributor to Boing Boing, Wink Books, and Wink Fun. And he has a new best-of writing collection and “lazy person’s memoir,” called Borg Like Me.

  • Elexorien

    Amazing. Wish I had him for a teacher when I was in middle school.

    • John Maushammer

      Awesome, inspring video – thanks!

      Elexorien – this is the magic of the internet: through Slater’s videos, he can inspire and teach far more children (and parents!) than he could have done in person. All it takes is a caring mentor with some patience and a good block of time to pass on the same enjoyment and learning.