Paper Airplanes!

That was so cool to watch them just fall from the sky one right after another.

Oh wait… No it wasn’t, it was embarrassing.

What’s wrong with you guys?

I was down on the floor and was embarrassed. I saw a lot of very VIP’s walking around down there.

How would you feel if you just hit your $10-20K sponsor in the head with a paper airplane? Or even the eye? That would really make me want to give more money into the program.

Think before you act people, I mean come on…

/old man rant over

I agree with this. It was played off as no big deal when the call for the air force to recruit these people was made, but honestly it could have gone much different. Very few people in the stands and on the floor are wearing safety glasses and if one plane were to hit someone in the eye it could be serious. Flying paper airplanes are fun if everyone knows its happening but most people had no idea they were coming down till they were past them. Beach balls and balloons can’t cause blindness that’s why they are accepted as a why to add fun to the stands.

When I went to my first Championship in 2003, I thought it was pretty inspiring, especially the ones that would make it from the upper tiers of the stands all the way down to the field. And now I work designing passenger jets (but I still make awful paper airplanes). But airplane people like airplanes no matter what size they are, so I suppose we can take that with a grain of salt.

On a technical note, if your airplane makes it to the field I’d imagine you’ve got a pretty great glide slope so I wouldn’t think impaling a sponsor is a big worry. I’d be a lot more worried about ones that crash and burn in the stands and potentially getting someone on another team or a member of the public at large. And I imagine a championship very VIP probably gave a lot more than $20k. :wink:

I thought it was pretty neat too, however there was a point when it all should have stopped: when there were people speaking.

Especially when the Kamen family was up there at the podium, I saw one that nearly made it to the stage, and while I’m sure they would have laughed it off, I felt that it was extremely disrespectful.

The only time I found it appropriate was post division finals when we were waiting for Einstein to begin.

:’( it’s really cool that some kids are really good at making paper planes, but I agree that it isn’t the nicest thing, especially for any of the people that get hit by them - they trickle down, they shoot down, and others dive with sharp corners that sting a little bit before you say, “ok, that wasn’t so bad”.

If you’re going to throw one, at least be sure it’s half-way decent.

Props to whoever made it out of the cardstock program.

Yeah. I swear I thought Jon Dudas was going to say stop throwing those down, because I would have made a comment about it.

While even waiting for Einstein…paper can still hurt. I was volunteering near the division champ seatings, and a nice lady from a team almost got hit in the eye by one, hit her forehead and she laughed it off.

Yeah, I think they should’ve waited for people to stop talking (like, during down time where no one’s playing or talking)… Like that time when everyone started clapping because of some paper airplane when one guy (I forget who it was) started talking, and no one could hear him…

I thought it was really cool to see. But Yes, during the speaking they should of stopped. As far as I could tell, they never were going to harm someone because the fast ones were just notebook paper and were soft when they hit. Congrats to those who’s made it to the front of the floor seats or farther!

I had less of a problem with the ones before Einstein than the ones during, but I wouldn’t shed a tear if FIRST put the kibosh on this (however they could).

I strongly disagree with these statements, and find it offensive that any sort of encouragement is given to the practice. One of our parents was hit in the back of the head by a plane made out of a FedEx envelope, and it was a very unnerving experience.

It may seem like fun, but this isn’t homeroom before the morning bell rings. This isn’t Vancouver during the 2011 Stanley Cup Finals. Show some respect! You’re throwing projectiles at a crowd of students, teachers, parents, sponsors… and the general public who may be seeing FIRST for the first time. FIRST is better than this, but the students aren’t showing it.

During one of the award presentations, the speaker came up and said hello, and the crowd erupted in cheers. Not for him, but for the paper airplane that made it to the field. Why can’t we cheer for him instead?

I’m also disappointed that the FIRST announcer didn’t make any sort of request to ask that the planes stop. It clearly reached a problematic level, and they ignored the issue.

This way we robotics team like to have fun. I remeber doing this last year. But hopfully no one gets hurt::safety::

Another reason the paper airplanes need to stop: someone else needs to clean them up. During the awards/finals there was a stadium employee sweeping up hundreds of the paper airplanes on the stadium floor. Imagine how long it will take to go up and down all the rows and clean up all the hundreds of paper airplanes. I think its very likely they now have a different feeling of FIRST other than being inspired about science and technology. :o

While I understand your concerns, I’m sure the arena staff would have to sweep the arena floor and clear every row of seats anyway… that’s their job.

The paper airplanes are nothing more than a release. It would be very unfortunate if anyone got hurt, and no one has the intent of hurting anyone. I feel it would be a freak accident if someone lost an eye to a paper airplane.
Just like anything it is easy to get out of hand. A plane made of card stock and/or flying them when someone is on state speaking are examples of getting out of hand. To use reasoning of someone having to clean them up is way out there. At the end of the day on Friday some of the girls on our team were picking up the area we were sitting in and noticed that the entire section next to where we were sitting and the area in front of where we were sitting was real bad. Without being asked they picked up both sections with the exception of the area that a team sitting next to us in our section due to them still sitting there. When the matches were over the team that was sitting next to us, got up and left, leaving a huge mess in their area. Even after seeing our students picking up the rest of the section and the section next to us. So I doubt that it would be paper airplanes that would give the cleanup crew a bad taste for FIRST.

/old man rant done.

I also agree that the cleaning up part is not a valuable reason why to not throw paper airplanes. When our team left, we went through our area where our team was sitting with garbage bags and cleaned everything up; including the paper airplanes that fell from above. If anything, the paper airplanes needed to stop when the ceremony started. It was extremely disrespectful and took away from those speaking. Although I stand neutral on if other teams should throw them or not, I know I enforced with my fellow captains NOT throwing them or throwing the ones that landed in our crowd due to the safety reasons.

While I have no care one way or the other on throwing planes your reasoning of “Who cares if it makes a mess because people are paid to clean is up” is completely wrong.

If people took more time to pick up after themselves and took efforts to not make a mess, then the people who are paid to clean up could go home sooner. Yes it’s their job to clean up but we shouldn’t make it harder and more tedious for them by making a mess just because its fun and other people will clean it up.

I completely agree that this should not have been going on when people were speaking.
I also don’t think that it was done to make a mess for someone else to clean up.
If the only reason for not throwing a paper airplane is to not leave a mess for someone to pick up then so be it.
I find it hard to believe that any team was doing this just to make a mess or to be disruptive.
Who cleaned up all the confetti on the stage after Einstein. It is good that no one slipped on that paper and fell and broke something.
It is good that teams like 27 and others are willing to help out with cleaning up the area that we as FIRST use for our events. It is an example that many other teams should follow.

I agree, and I also should have said in my initial post that every team should endeavor to clean up the area around them. I just thought that the post I was replying to, like a couple others in this thread, was an overreaction. I think that throwing paper airplanes towards the field is a fun way to pass time during the seemingly endless delay before Einstein, although I definitely agree that this should stop when people are talking.

Perhaps they understood that expecting tens of thousands of high school students to sit still for hours the way they had was a tad ridiculous.

I know that at the point where that particular speaker came up, they had already completely lost the crowd. Not just the students, but the parents and most all the mentors as well.

The structure is ridiculous. You don’t want the airplanes? Ok. Have FIRST get a little more realistic about how they structure the awards, the matches, and all the numerous speeches.

You leave that many kids together with nothing to do, and they will find SOMETHING. They started with the wave, the roller coaster, and a dozen other things that I’m sure no one had any disagreement with. Leave them to their own devices though, and it’s going to happen eventually.

It wasn’t just in Einstein with the VIPs, safety risks, and disrespecting the speakers- I know on Curie one of my team’s matches [244s] had to be replayed because somebody threw an airplane onto the field. Does anyone have the common sense of when its ok to do things? It is just a bit upsetting to hear things like that.

This was my first thought! Also, I’m fairly certain that whatever the arena staff did sweep up, they put it into the trash. Think of how much recyclable material that is!