SOCORRO, N.M., April 23, 2002 -- The New Mexico Tech Physics Club will give flight to the Sixth Annual Paper Airplane Contest, a fun, science- related competition being launched during National Physics Week on Saturday, April 27, from 3 until 5 p.m. in the Tech Gym.

The paper airplane extravaganza, sponsored by club members and the Tech physics department, is open to all ages -- children, as well as adults. No entry fee is required to compete or watch.

Competitions for longest distance and duration of flight will be held for four specific age groups: 6 years and under; 7 to 11 years; 12 to 15 years; and 16 years and older. Children under 12 must be accompanied by an adult at the contest.

Registration for all groups will start at 3 p.m., with prizes in each category awarded at the end of the competition.

A grand prize of an airplane ride, donated by local Taco Bell owner and pilot David Richmond Sparks, will be awarded to the contestant who accumulates the most points overall.

Other local businesses and individuals also have generously donated more than $700 in merchandise and services awarded as prizes and giveaways to winners and other participants in the various divisions and competitions.

Refreshments for the event will be provided by Tripps, Inc. and Holiday Inn Express.

The rules of the paper airplane contest stipulate that all entries be constructed on-site at the Tech Gym of materials that will be provided to all contestants shortly after they register No pre-assembled airplanes or "blueprints" will be allowed. The materials provided will consist of two 8 1/2 inch by 11 inch sheets of standard-weight paper.

Entries will be limited to two paper airplanes, with a maximum of two throws in each competition. Either of the contestant's two airplanes, however, may be used for any of the throws; and, only the best throw in each contest will be scored.

The paper airplane contest has become a popular annual event at New Mexico Tech, and also has become a regular part of the Tech Physics Club's continuing efforts to provide science education as an outreach program.

Members of the Tech Physics Club remind everyone that they are willing and available to set up science demonstrations and presentations for local schools and other organizations.