Paper Airplanes Soar in Gilmer

December 12, 2013
Jamshaid R. Choudhry '16

Contestent ParticpantsOn November 15, the Society of Physics Students hosted the first Paper Airplane Competition testing the aerodynamic capabilities of 20 student and faculty members. The competition took place in the basement of Gilmer HAll after classes had ended. The rules of the competition were simple. First, create a paper airplane out of any of the three types of paper available: loose leaf, printer paper, or card stock. Then, two contestants were chosen randomly to be the first competitors. The pilots stood behind a starting line and threw their airplanes one by one. The pilot to reach the longest distance from their initial position advanced to the next round. The competition continued in the same fashion until there were four finalists: Dane Asuigui '16, Michael Keohane, Dr. Jonathan Keohane, and Dr. Stan Cheyne.

The first round of the playoffs pit student, Dane, against physics professor, Dr. Cheyne; the pilots stood behind the starting line and Dane started the show by throwing his plane from one end of the Room 019 to the other end, a clear 15 meters.  Dane seemed like the obvious winner until Dr. Cheyne’s plane reached the other end just as easily. So the pilots took to the hall and like the old saying goes, “the student became the teacher,” as Dane’s airplane bested Dr. Cheyne’s.  

The second round of the playoffs pit father against son as Dr. Keohane and son, Michael, readied their planes at the start position. Michael threw his plane first and cleared the room. Dr. Keohane then threw his plane, but was not able to reach the distance his son had achieved. This put Dr. Keohane and Dr. Cheyne in the first round of the finals for 3rd position in the competition and Michael and Dane in the final round of the competition for 1st place.

Dr. Keohane and Dr. Cheyne readied their planes for the first round. Dr. Cheyne threw first and threw well; Dr. Keohane, on the other hand, threw better and was able to clear a longer distance with his plane. Therefore, Dr. Keohane won the 3rd position in the competition. And then the final round took place. Dane threw first and, once again, cleared the room with his plane. Michael then threw his plane, but wasn’t able to reach the other end of the room.

This final round ended the first Paper Airplane Competition with H-SC student, Dane Asuigui in 1st place, Michael Keohane in 2nd place, and a professor, Dr. Keohane in 3rd place. The event was a huge success for the Society of Physics Students with 20 competitors and several spectators. It was a great event that gave students, faculty, and the community around H-SC an opportunity to forget all of their worries for an hour and just have fun, flying paper airplanes. It will definitely become a semi-annual event for the College that we look forward to every semester.