Authors: Tim Creel, Harding University and Veronica Paz, Indiana University of Pennsylvania 

The process of building paper airplanes in an accounting classroom allows students to experience an interactive, engaging, problem-solving, and fun learning environment. Building paper airplanes occurs in a managerial accounting class at the undergraduate level, an MBA accounting class or cost accounting class. Students volunteer to build paper airplanes in front of their fellow classmates to illustrate the manufacturing process.

The class answers questions related to the manufacturing process after completion of the simulation. In a cost accounting class, building airplanes simulates aspects of manufacturing such as process re-engineering, value-added and non-value-added activities, Just-in-time inventory systems, the Theory of Constraints, lean manufacturing, and sustainability.

Many of these aspects of cost accounting involve real-world problems for the students to solve. Students learn about these aspects of cost accounting along with problem-solving techniques after being broken into teams. Regardless of the accounting course, building airplanes promotes an interactive, engaging, and fun learning environment for accounting students.

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