|Small business classes take to the air for project|
|Written by Katie Klein, Daily Vidette Senior Staff|
|Thursday, 03 May 2012 18:38|
For some students, the end of the spring semester brings many final projects that translate into hours in the library or lab. There are teachers, however, who assign projects designed with creative and entertaining aspects, like making paper airplanes.
Doan Winkel, assistant professor of entrepreneurship, gave his introduction to small business classes the task of creating a paper aircraft capable of carrying 50 cents aloft for as long and as far as possible.
“Here’s the reason why I do this: we talk about small businesses and entrepreneurship, which is what we’ve been talking about all semester. The idea is this exercise is very purposeful,” Winkel said.
The project had five rules: the aircraft must use the same amount of paper sheets as the number of group members, the craft must be designed to carry 50 cents, the plane must be considered aerodynamic, the aircraft must leave the launcher’s hand ,and the craft must come down within two minutes.
Before the class took to the sky, the groups had to present their designs and sell their crafts to their classmates. Most of the groups used catchy names or fancy gimmicks to make their crafts appear superior to the rest.
“Through the group’s research, coupled with my wicked awesome origami skills, we have created the ultimate paper plane,” Sean Rice, management major, said as he presented his group’s plane “The Stingray.”
From balloons, Frisbees, and remote-operated helicopters, the groups’ designs ran the gamut of what a paper airplane could be.
As an example, one of the groups taped a paper plane to an electronic helicopter. According to the rules, helicopters are acceptable to fly the designed craft and, explained in the presentation, that “maybe the whole point of the exercise wasn’t to design a paper plane and throw it.”
Each group then voted on which design they thought would fly the farthest and which design would have the most air time. The next step was taking the planes for test runs.
Classmates watched as their competitors launched, or sometimes ran with, their planes in the courtyard of the State Farm Hall of Business. A few planes were successful in achieving great distances while other crafts failed to launch.
The winning plane in the distance category was a group who designed a paper plane supported by helium balloons. The group was able to get the best distance due to a group member using his longboard to pilot the plane around the Quad.
A craft called “The All-American” took the honors of longest air time. The red, white and blue kite-shaped craft was flown by a member who sprinted with the kite around the building.
Winkel, who has assigned the “Kitty Hawk” project before, is aware of the difficulties this exercise brings but had a few tricks up his sleeve.
“If you look at the rules, it says your craft has to be designed to transport $.050, that doesn’t mean it has to transport $0.50,” Winkel explained.
Not all the groups were tricked by the rules. A few groups did have their plane leave the launcher’s hands but were still able to be in the hands of the person walking their plane. Only one of the groups figured out transporting coins was not necessary.