Wednesday 5 June 2013

Science: Paper Shooter!

This is a easy project for even tots to enjoy learning and exploring the science of aerodynamics.  If you want to you can play a game of who can make it fly the furthest.  I saw it posted around Facebook from Life at the Zoo.  But this is how we did it...

What you will need:

  • Card (cereal box thickness)
  • Paper (printer paper thickness)
  • Tissue paper
  • Sticky tape (we tried double sided tape on some and one sided on others)
  • Scissors
  • A ruler (because it's always handy to add a bit of maths!)
  • Straws
To make this into a fun experiment we chose to try this out with 3 thicknesses of paper to see which one flew furthest.  To make it a fair test we measure all of them out so they were 5cm thick and the same length too (22cm).  Drawing a line as a guide to where to cut.
Then we carefully cut down our line.
 This was Honi doing hers in the park enjoying the sunshine.
The you can either put down some double-sided sticky tape like this...
Then peal it off...
 Then, making sure the straw will fit loosely inside the card, paper or tissue paper, fold it in half so it sticks shut.
Or you can fold it over and tape it with regular sticky tape.  We found that folding over the end helped too.
Harmonie liked to decorate he piece of paper before we made one.  It added to the fun. 

Then when you have all three thicknesses made you are ready to experiment. 

Just slip your straw in and blow...
You can even measure how far yours travels!

If you want to see how ours worked check out this video here or...
What we are learning:
  • How the wind blows, how it moves objects and even though we can't see it we can see how it effects things.
  • You can also talk about air resistance and how blowing your shooter in the same direction as the wind gives a different result to blowing it against the wind.
  • If you have older children who want to go one step further they might want to add wings to see how much further it travels.  
  • Maths:  measuring the paper, measure how far it travels
  • Maths: writing down how far the shooter travels, record keeping.  You could even make graph or pie chart to show what you have found.
  • Play about have some fun and learn a little about aerodynamics!
For more experiments look at my science page  

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