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$7,141 pledged of $20,000 goal
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By John Collins
$7,141 pledged of $20,000 goal
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About

I'm creating The National Paper Airplane Contest. I need help funding the website. It's a media rich, interactive website to facilitate a league and contest. It will also serve as the social hub for paper airplane making and flying.

Doing Science With Paper Airplanes

I’m the world record holder for distance. I’ve taught hundreds of thousands of people how to fold planes on four continents.

I've worked directly with juvenile detention centers and troubled youth in the past. I know the challenges. Putting in the time works. Engaging the kids with a kind of “renegade” activity works. Paper airplanes have the potential to make positive changes in at risk groups as well as honor students.

There are no spare brains on the planet.

Every paper airplane throw is a little science experiment: a guess at how an adjustment will work, an experiment called a throw, instant results and analysis. Repeat and learn.  By backing this project, more people will understand the basic idea of science. It's the way we find stuff out.

If you're in it for the glory, you'll also get a chance to compete in The National Paper Airplane Contest.  Do it for the kids.  Do it for a better future.  Or, do it because you'll have a blast. Just back this project.

Everybody enjoys paper airplanes. I do, more than most.

My YouTube video has millions of views from all around the world. 

                                        

I've done a little television.  I was on Conan.

 More media things:

I love doing paper airplane demonstrations. It’s my passion. 

Some of the Companies and Universities for which I've performed.
Some of the Companies and Universities for which I've performed.

The problem is that most science museums can barely afford to support themselves.  To be widely used, a great STEM program  needs to be inexpensive.  

 After 25 years of working and consulting with museums, I figured out a way to do just that. The answer is to throw in a little friendly competition.

The goal is to give everyone the STEM part. Museums, schools, libraries, and individuals will all have free access to the fun and science. This will create interest in joining the league and competing in the contest.

The learning is free.  Finding out who is “top gun”?  That costs a little

That's how the Lego leagues and the largest airplane model club in the country (AMA) run successful programs .  The Information is free and there's a fee to compete.  

The contest rules are written, complete with new and exciting paper airplane competitions like fast catch and follow foil races.

It’s all designed to be media friendly.  Unlike most paper airplane competitions, great contest video will be easy to shoot.

The biggest hurdle is building a top notch website.  It's all about the airplanes: the instructional video , the flight theory, throwing and adjusting, contest operations, contest sizzle reels, and more… a lot more.  

Think social hub for paper airplanes.  Then imagine it even better. Learn a plane, teach a plane, and other forums are planned.  Also, for teachers, we’ll have a lesson plan library.  For any teacher, anywhere, that wants to integrate paper airplanes into their classroom; we’ll have a resource for them.

All of this is possible in fairly short order.  That’s where you come in.  Please consider backing this project.  Consider what it means to science and flight museums around the country. Or, consider competing yourself!  

And now... some kind words from clients:

"It has been a great pleasure having John Collins perform his
Paper Airplane magic at the Hiller Aviation Museum. John makes science a fun activity by incorporating his inventive paper airplanes designs and easy to understand presentation."

William Turner
VP Operations
Hiller Aviation Museum

"John Collins has been performing at the Evergreen Aviation & Space Museum for over 4 years and is a member and visitor favorite. His programs both entertain and teach people of all ages about aviation, flight, force, motion and so much more using paper and folding techniques. John Collins has been a great partner in meeting our mission to 'Inspire and Educate,' and we look forward to working with him again and long into the future. "

- Larry Wood, Executive Director, Evergreen Aviation & Space Museum (Home of the Spruce Goose)

"John,
What an amazing way to end the day.
Your presentation was unbelievable and I was met this morning with a lot of people saying how much they truly enjoyed it.
It was a great pleasure to meet you and see you in action – what a treat."

All the best,
Julie Fields, Sony Playstation

"Hi John - thanks for all your help at Maker Faire this year - it was so great having you with us and as always, you were a hit."

Sherry Huss
Maker-In-Chief
O'Reilly Media
Make Magazine and Maker Faire

Once it launches, it’s self supporting with only about 6,000 competitors nationwide.  We’ll have more than that, of course; but only if we turn this plan into a program.

REWARDS

At the $2 level, you'll get a printable pdf that will make any sheet of paper look boss.  The official league logo and contest  emblem tells your friends you've got some paper airplane game.

At $20: It's a plane, it's a stand, it's a thank you card-- all in one. It's folded and signed by John.  Flattened for shipping, it unfolds and stands proudly on your desk, table or bookcase.  It might be the coolest card this season.

At $100  Choose your 3 planes and get them folded and signed by the master.  Also, you'll get the collectors set: all three John Collins books.

$500 pick your planes-- set of 20.  Or let John choose.

Go big and get your name in the record book; kind of.  The top four backers will get a plane named after them (or a family member).  The plane must be one of these from The New World Champion Paper Airplane Book.

 

Here’s what we’ve got:

Detailed website plan.   Logo Design.  Basic wire frame for website.   Designers and coders ready to work.   Fly for Fun program designs. Detailed contest rules.   Contest physical layouts.   Operational instructions, and promotional material design.   Local fundraising campaign outlines.   Media outreach strategies.   Commitments from 25 museums to participate-- two large enough to host regional and final competition.  Media Contacts, professional production experience, writing shooting and directing expertise.   80 plus videos for teaching paper airplane making and folding techniques.  13,000 YouTube subscribers for The Paper Airplane Guy channel.   6.2 million views. . 5,000 subscribers to ThePaperAirplaneGuy.com (subscriptions site)

Written, but not produced, videos for flight theory

Written, but not produced, videos for throwing

Written, but not produced, videos for proper adjusting techniques

What we need:

20K  Estimates range from 20k for a template based site to 45K for a completely custom site.  We’re looking to make trade-outs, call in favors, and get this done.  There’s no getting around putting 20k into the job. 

Stretch goal: 25k. Formation of 501.c3 corporation. It costs about 5k to handle the legal work required to expedite this process. This status insures the money stays in the program , and makes it easier for museums (and their boards) to opt in.

Stretch goal: 30k. Peanut butter AND Jelly for lunches while coding.

Stretch goal: 35k.  We add higher quality materials to the STEM programs for schools and museums; like stanchions instead of streamers for the fast catch.  Acrylic cones for accuracy contests instead of paper.  More stuff built to last. We shoot and produce the remaining video pieces.  Create motion graphics for the aerodynamics instructional videos.

Financials:

The program supports itself at 6,000 contestants. With an annual league membership fee of $25 and a contest fee of $25, we can support the national contest.  A portion of those fees stays right at the museums to pay key staff members who help organize at the local level.  The bulk goes to running the league and the website.   Administration of hundreds of contests and thousands of competitors, building and interacting with the paper airplane community, communication with museums and their stores, order fulfillment for online merchandising, and procurement and fulfillment for online orders.

There are 350 possible science and air museums that could host events.  With only a 10% opt in rate, that would be 35 museums.  About 171 people would need to opt into each location to reach 6,000 contestants.   We’ll have far more people at key locations.   Right now, with no website and a simple email blast , we count 25 museums already interested in the program.  Many museums interact with dozens of schools.  These are target rich environments for attracting competitors.

 

Risks and challenges

What could go wrong:

A) Nobody joins the league to compete. That’s the big one. Here’s why I think we’ll have plenty of paper pilot participation.

1) The Fly for Fun days will be designed, in part, to encourage people to sign up.

2) The program model is based on the successful Lego League structure: give away knowledge and allow a formal way to find the best strategy for winning.

3) There are already hundreds of paper airplane contests every year, all around the nation. There’s just no way to know where you stand nationally.

4) Red Bull has a contest every three years. It’s the number one video people watch out of all their crazy events. People like paper airplanes.

5) The competition is designed to test brains, not brawn. It’s physical and fun. Most of the events skew toward strategy instead of brute strength.

B) Insufficient number of museums opting in.

Since the program was designed in consultation with flight museums, it’s tailored to give them what they want: a low cost, flight-based STEM program that really works. Most of the consulting museums have already opted in, with two offering to host regional competitions. A total of 25 have expressed interest already, with only a program outline in hand.


C) Overwhelmed by demand.

It would be a great problem to have. In reality, the program is very scalable, with each museum carrying much of the load with paid and unpaid staffing. It’s a win, win. They get a great program, and the league gets an opportunity to encourage fee based membership and competition.

I hope you’ll weigh the probable good we’ll do against the potential for failure, and decide The National Paper Airplane Contest is worth supporting. With your help, we’ll launch a great national STEM program serving millions for free, and assisting many thousands to compete.

There’s still a huge debate in the fluid dynamics world about why things fly. Flight is still the wild west in terms of theory. What if this program sparked the insight for the next great flight breakthrough? It's possible with your support.

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Support

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $2 or more About $2.00

    Thanks plus pdf with official league decals, placed for printing a very convincing USFAFL aircraft. Of course, instructions for many paper airplanes will be available on the new website.

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    Pledge $20 or more About $20

    Personally crafted paper airplane. Made and signed by John Collins, Guinness World Record Holder. The plane comes with it's own stand, suitable for display; designed as a "thank you" and a reminder that you helped launch The National Paper Airplane Contest.

    If you've got a favorite John Collins design, request it.

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    Pledge $50 or more About $50

    Get a signed plane and get your first year of league membership and first contest entry free!

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    Pledge $100 or more About $100

    The collector's set of all three John Collins classics: The Gliding Flight, Fantastic Flight, and The New World Champion Paper Airplane Book. Get all three signed by the world record holder. More than 75 originals designs. It's hours of folding enjoyment, or maybe years... depending on your skill level.

    Need a couple of special planes on stands. Pick the planes you want. John will fold and sign them.

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  5. Select this reward

    Pledge $500 or more About $500

    Pick your book, or your collection of 20 airplanes from all three. John Collins folds them, signs them and ships them to you. Choose your own mix of classics or let John decide. It's like the chef's special only result isn't designed to pass through you.

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    Pledge $1,000 or more About $1,000

    The top 4 backers will get a paper airplane named after them or a family member. Make a permanent mark on the paper airplane world. Random House has agreed to change the names of selected planes on the next reprint of The New World Champion Paper Airplane Book. That may take as long as 9 months depending on demand. In the meantime, your electronically downloaded copy will be available 30 days after this project ends. Good luck and good backing!

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    Pledge $3,000 or more About $3,000

    Your next company meeting can really soar. Surprise your co-workers with a world class, immersive, outrageously fun event. The Paper Airplane Guy puts on a great show. If you need a great corporate event anyway, why not help build The National Paper Airplane Contest too?

    Travel is extra (outside of SF Bay Area)

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Funding period

- (30 days)