Like all good scrapbookers in the late 90s and early 2000s, I amassed quite a collection of decorative-edge scissors.
I used them to cut photos and mats... cringeworthy now, but all the rage then. It's been at least a decade since I used deco-edge scissors for scrapbooking, but I do use them for the occasional craft. Trevor and I used them last year for our art journals. Most recently, Trevor used them for a science experiment.
For their last homework assignment of the year, the 2nd graders at Trevor's school each have to present a science experiment to their class. Trevor chose to experiment with gyrocopters. He started by making one gyrocopter using regular scissors, then made an otherwise-identical one using a pair of decorative-edge scissors.
He stood on a chair to drop the smooth-edged gyrocopter and the decorative-edged gyrocopter and observed the results. There was a clear difference! He repeated his experiment with different decorative edges until he found the one that yielded the best results.
He tested other variables as well. He compared different sizes (small, medium, and large) and different materials (copy paper vs. cardstock), each time changing only one variable and checking the results.
Each time he made a new gyrocopter, he stood on his chair to see whether it would fall more quickly or slowly than the previous. After some initial experiments standing on the chair, he moved all the gyrocopters to the stairs and tried them there. Here's a short video of him testing two different sizes of gyrocopters.
After much experimentation, Trevor determined how to make an optimal gyrocopter. Materials: copy paper, ruler, pencil, pinking sheers, large paper clip.
- Measure a 6.5" x 1.5" rectangle on a sheet of copy paper. Use pinking sheers to cut it out. Cut a 3" slit down the middle of one of the ends to form the wings.
- Fold the wings in opposite directions. They should be 90° from the main part of the gyrocopter.
- Add a paperclip to the bottom center of the gyrocopter for weight.
- Go to a high place and drop the gyrocopter. Watch it spin and float to the ground!