Schoolgirl takes flight to scoop top homework prize

A precocious young schoolgirl is flying high after landing a special China Homework prize.

A precocious young schoolgirl is flying high after landing a special China Homework prize.

Ten-year-old Gao Xinyan, a first grader in Fengxian District, was the youngest among 10 gold prize winners of the China Homework contest, assigned by He Fajiang, dean of the School of Air Transportation, at Shanghai University of Engineering Science, after she constructed a paper plane that flew further than any of her competitors.

The youngster, with some help from her parents, worked tirelessly to construct a paper plane, and a helicopter, that would stay in the air longer than anyone else. She researched online and experimented with several different types of paper before discovering A4 printing paper was the most suitable. 

Gao Xinyan (right), a first grader in Fengxian District, was the youngest among 10 gold prize winners of the China Homework contest, assigned by He Fajiang, dean of the School of Air Transportation, at Shanghai University of Engineering Science.

“The A4 paper is smooth with moderate thickness and hardness, so the air drag was smaller,” she said. “And the helicopter has a sharp head and large wings, which enable it to fly fast while stay long in the air so as to reach the farthest distance.”


Professor He said Gao showed both exploring spirit and practical ability in her homework, which made her the youngest top winner, in a competition where more than 100 students were also awarded for their outstanding performance in a summer vacation event.


It was the fifth year for Shanghai Education News Website to organize China Homework. A record number of, 23,535, students from schools and universities around China registered for this year’s 17 assignments, given university professors like He, and Cai Jun, captain of the maiden flight of China’s self-developed jet C919.


Besides making paper planes, assignments also included researching on nursing houses, writing about homesickness and singing an aria from a Kunqu Opera.


Li Xinman, a second grader in Minhang District, also won a top prize by answering Cai’s assignment that asked students to design what vehicles would look like 50 years into the future.


Li really showed rich imagination, including a high-speed vacuum tunnel pod, planes riven with solar and geothermal energies and roller-type lift.

Special Reports
Top