+ ++ Latino seventh grader creates winning paper airplane design — first to soar over Tucson desert | Latina Lista
Life Issues

Latino seventh grader creates winning paper airplane design — first to soar over Tucson desert

Latino seventh grader creates winning paper airplane design — first to soar over Tucson desert

LatinaLista — If anyone out walking in the Tucson desert last week thought they saw a white object gliding silently across the Arizona sky, they can be forgiven for thinking it was a UFO. It wasn't but it was something never before seen, maybe anywhere, in the U.S.

It was a 800-pound paper airplane.

[caption id="attachment_16692" align="alignleft" width="300" caption="800-pound paper airplane soars over the Arizona desert (Photo: Pima Air & Space Museum) "][/caption]

The 45-foot paper plane was the culmination of a contest sponsored by the Pima Air & Space Museum's The Great Paper Airplane Project. Wanting to encourage kids to go into math, engineering and science, the museum invited kids back in January from the Tucson area to go to the museum and fly paper airplanes that they had made.

Each child, ages 6-14, had only one sheet of 8.5 x 11" paper to fold into the design they thought would fly their plane the farthest. Arturo Valdenegro, a 12-year-old seventh grader from Santa Cruz Catholic School in Tucson, developed the winning concept. Experimenting with different designs, he was able to get his paper plane to fly 75 feet — beating out the 150 other kids who had entered the contest.

[caption id="attachment_16693" align="alignright" width="199" caption="Arturo Valdenegro creates the winning paper airplane design. (Photo: Pima Air & Space Museum)"][/caption]

While everybody who entered the contest won a free family membership to the museum, Arturo's winnings is making him a part of aviation history (according to the museum). Arturo's design was scaled up, way up into the 45-foot model. Arturo got to help with the designing process and flew to Los Angeles to work with the design team, some who had worked with NASA and the U.S. Air Force.

The team used a type of corrugated cardboard to build it but they saved the most important feature for last — the name. It was christened "Arturo's Desert Eagle."

After a few rough starts — it was a little heavier than anticipated — the paper plane was hoisted into the air by a helicopter which released it over the desert — flying it into aviation history before it crashed and suffered extensive damage.

However, the plane achieved something else even more important — it inspired Arturo to think about going into engineering.

[caption id="attachment_16694" align="alignleft" width="300" caption="Arturo poses for the media alongside the plane that bears his name. (Photo: Pima Air & Space Museum)"][/caption]

Click to add a comment

You must be logged in to post a comment Login

Leave a Reply

Life Issues

More in Life Issues


New report highlights why Hispanics 50+ are a force still to be reckoned with

Latina ListaOctober 13, 2015

Five things Latinos are doing right

Latina ListaOctober 7, 2015

Study discovers how big an impact Latino siblings have on one another

Latina ListaOctober 6, 2015

Latinas lead the way in creating businesses

Latina ListaSeptember 8, 2015

Even with college acceptance in hand, too many low-income Latinos never make it to campus

Latina ListaAugust 17, 2015
A guard tower is shown at Corcoran State Prison in Corcoran, California October 1, 2013. The prison contains areas known as Security Housing Units (SHU) that house some of the most dangerous criminals in the state. Picture taken October 1, 2013.    REUTERS/Robert Galbraith  (UNITED STATES - Tags: CRIME LAW SOCIETY) - RTR3FKA6

Call to reform juvenile and criminal justice system rings louder

Latina ListaJuly 14, 2015
Screen Shot 2015-07-09 at 4.39.01 PM

New report reveals more girls of color in juvenile justice system victims of sexual abuse

Latina ListaJuly 9, 2015

National Parks offer 12 fun ways to beat summer heat & remind visitors to not forget those selfies

Latina ListaJuly 2, 2015

Real suffering happening because of climate change. Finally, more people speaking up, but más needed

Latina ListaJune 17, 2015