Just before the end of the day on Tuesday, Hayes High School students from Prospect Hill and Lockport battled in the auxiliary gym in the final competition before the House Games next month.
The contest wasn’t athletic, artistic or strictly academic. Instead, it was a competition to see which team could create the best four paper airplanes and throw them the farthest.
Assistant Principal Rex Reeder said the paper airplane contest is new this year, and he got the inspiration for the contest after making paper airplanes with his son.
“My son and I have been throwing paper airplanes, and he likes it, so (I thought) it’d be neat to see what type of design (students could come up with),” Reeder said. “It takes a lot of thought and physics, too. I thought it could be educational.”
He added the goal of the contest is to get the plane as far and as straight as possible, and there are distance deductions for flying too far left or right.
Reeder said he looked up the rules from national paper airplane contests and adapted them to fit the needs of the competition, and he said the teams needed to make their own planes just before the competition and could only fold the paper and not use cuts or glue.
Reeder said teams from each House could have builders and throwers, and he was happy to see so many students take part in the competition.
“What I’m trying to do with House is get more kids involved,” he said. “This is more of an engineering project. A different set of skills. It’s not always athletics or the arts or academics. What we’re trying to do mainly is get some other kids who might be interested in something different. It has made kids collaborate and got some other teachers involved.”
From 2 to 2:20 p.m., students were folding and throwing paper planes over and over trying to find the right methods before the actual competition, and Reeder said he enjoyed seeing their thought processes in action.
“I like the trial and error,” he said. “It’s alright to fail, come back, figure out what worked and what didn’t.”
After the 20-minute practice session, planes from Lockport and Prospect Hill took flight, crashing, skidding or sliding their way around the gym.
Chloe Mitchell, a freshman member of Lockport, said she enjoyed the competition.
“I have no paper plane experience, but (it is) very fun,” she said. It’s quite nice.”
Carson Maharry, a freshman member of Prospect Hill, said it was a fun activity to take part in.
“It puts a good exclamation point on the end of the day,” he said. “It’s just good hearted fun.”
Maharry added he and his teammates watched a few videos to prepare for the competition but said everyone enjoyed how low-key it was.
“It was very fun. Everyone was nice to each other,” he said. “We built each other up.”
Maharry said as a freshman he’s never experienced House Games at Hayes, but he was looking forward to see if they lived up to the hype.
Reeder said he’s glad students are excited and participating.
“It’s just different, that’s what we do,” he said. “We just try and find something to get kids involved. House Games are May 13, and kids are excited.”
Reeder said the competition will continue today and Thursday. Prospect Hill led the pack Tuesday with its planes having traveled a total 3,292 inches.