Students at several Manitoba schools spent time today tossing around paper airplanes, but this wasn’t some idle distraction. They were participating in a science lesson and attempting to break a world record at the same time.

Around 200 students at Dakota Collegiate joined students from coast to coast as they participated in a lesson about gravity. They are attempting to break the record for the largest practical science lesson at multiple venues.

The event launched the 2013 National Science and Technology Week. Three other schools in Manitoba also took part.

“It’s pretty awesome to have our school participate in it,” said Grade 12 student Ryan Churchill. “There's probably not that many people who can say they've been part of a Guinness World Record in Grade 12, 11, 10, 9.”

Everyone is hoping to determine how paper airplanes would fly on Earth, Mars and the moon. “We're all going to be learning together, like all the grades, and we're all learning the same thing, just cool,” said Grade 9 student Fayo Abdi.

The science lab stretched across the country, from Ottawa to Red Deer. In Toronto, part of the lesson came from astronaut Chris Hadfield, who joined via live feed.

Canada set the record last year for the largest practical science lesson at multiple venues.

The 13,702 students participating this year hope to beat last year's number. More than 100 schools coast to coast got involved.

Teachers say they want to get more kids interested in science, and events like this help. “It makes science fun, kids are excited about doing it, hey the staff is excited about doing it,” said Robbie Scott, a science teacher at Dakota Collegiate.

This year more than doubles the students at Dakota Collegiate taking part, but they'll have to wait a few more months to find out if they've set a new record.

With a report by Ina Sidhu