Flying Creations

May 12, 2020  |   Tinkering, Physics, Creativity


Can you make a paper cup fly? How about an egg carton? You can make Flying Creations from many items found around the house.

Alicia Jones prepares you for liftoff with pre-flight directions on making common materials fly. The question is not can they fly, but for how long?

Materials | Supplies

  • egg cartons, toilet paper/paper towel rolls, cardboard, chipboard, fruit baskets, plastic cups
  • paper clips, rubber bands, chenille sticks, tape
  • streamers, newspaper strips, coffee filter, cupcake liners
  • corks, paper scraps, small foam pieces, small plastic toys
  • scissors
  • fan or hair dryer 

Concepts Explored

  • lift
  • Bernoulli's Principle
  • creativity and design
  • physics
  • engineering
  • aerodynamics

Discovery Starters

What happens if your change setting on the fan? Can you adapt your creation to higher or lower wind speeds?

How do the materials you used effect lift and hovering ability?

If you make small changes to your creation, how did it change the way it flies.

What materials worked best? Why?

Explore Further

Next time you're outside, look for things in nature that could fly or hover. What do they have in common? 

Visit a local airport and watch plane or helicopters take off and land. How are they like your flying creation? Do these vehicles inspire you to make a new creation?

Try to build a flying creation that can hover the longest or fly the highest.  

Additional Resources

Exploratorium website: Wind Tubes

Amazeum YOU Activity Guide Flying Creations

Amazeum YOU Activities Air Powered Vehicles | Paper Airplanes | Bernoulli Obstacle Course