Over the past several weeks, Montverde Academy 6th and 8th grade science classes participated in MVA Middle-school’s “Great Paper Jets Engineering Project.”  The science project developed over seven phases. The first phase of the assignment was to choose one of fifteen jets that each student would like to make.  The second phase involved cutting out templates and gluing the templates to cardboard.  The third phase was to assemble the plane.  The fourth phase was to test the plane for approximate flight and hang time.  The fifth phase involved making and testing changes to improve either flight distance or flight time.  In the sixth phase, students decorated their planes. The seventh phase allowed to formally record their plane’s flight distance and hang time. 

Overall, 136 MVA Middle-school students participated in the project. Air Medals were presented for meeting minimum flight time and hang time criteria.  Distinguished Flying Medals were presented to first, second, and third place finishes in both the flight time and hang time categories:

  • Cindy Zhou won the Gold Distinguished Flying Medal for distance.  Her jet was modelled after the 262 Messerschmidt  and flew 20.1 meters. 
  • Luke Foley won the Silver Distinguished Flying Medal for distance. His jet was modelled after the P-80 Shooting Star and flew 20.0 meters.
  • Camillo Moreno and Nathan Valada tied for the Bronze Distinguished Flying Medal with a distance of 18.0 meters.  Camillo’s jet was modeling after the Boeing 747 and Nathan’s jet was modelled after the Concorde SST.
  • Jackson Shaban won the Gold Distinguished Flying Medal for hang time (3.4 seconds).  His plane was modelled after the F-117 Nighthawk

There was a 3-way tie for the Silver Distinguished Flying Medal for hang time between Om Patel (Concorde SST, 3.2 seconds), Giovanni Rock (F-117 Nighthawk, 3.2 seconds), and Jennifer Ghivizzani (F-22 Raptor, 3.2 seconds).  There was also a tie for the Bronze Distinguished Flying Medal between Tomas Molina (F-16 Falcon, 3.1 seconds) and Kassidy Schmid (F-117 Nighthawk, 3.1 seconds). Mr. Eric Pauli, the MVA Middle-school Science teacher who supervised the science project, commented, “The students were very enthusiastic as they engineered their planes past the distance and hang time standards. I’m really proud that so many students participated.”