
Unplugged Activity  Real Life Algorithms:
Paper Airplanes

This lesson is called Real Life Algorithms.

Algorithms describe things
that people do everyday. Cookie recipes and

directions for building a birdhouse are both
everyday algorithms. Today we're gonna make,

create, and test an algorithm for a paper
airplane. But first, we need to break this

big project into easy to follow small steps.
For making a paper airplane, we need to decide

what steps to take and in what order to take
them. You'll create your algorithm by first

cutting apart the pictures. Next, you'll select
the 6 pictures that show the steps needed

to make a paper airplane and arrange those
pictures in the correct order. After you have

everything in order, you will trade algorithms
with another student team to test out the

algorithm to see if the algorithm works. A
well designed algorithm is super important

to making the best paper airplane.

When we want to make chocolate, there are many big

steps to that process. And each of those big
steps has its own set of smaller steps. And

there are different recipes, or algorithms,
depending on how we want the chocolate to

taste. Each step is important, even the small
ones. So without one step, the rest of them

cannot be completed. Creating algorithms that
others can understand is really important.

That's why each step has to be written down,
so no matter who does it, the result is the same.