Amazing Hoop Gliders

Continuing the STEM theme, I present to you…. The Amazing Hoop Glider!

There’s not a child in the world who doesn’t love making paper airplanes. Recently, we decided to do another combined  science class where students had to just that… with a twist.

Objectives

  • To follow instructions to build a paper glider using specific materials
  • To think scientifically about an initial design and make improvements so as to make the glider fly faster/further

The Amazing Hoop Glider is a specialised paper plane design which involves attaching two hoops to a straw and… that’s more or less it! Science Bob provides detailed and easy to follow directions here

We gave a basic introduction, put the instructions up on the board then let the students play.

They did a great job so we headed outside for a test flight

After the initial planes had been made,we got students to turn the demonstration into an investigation by thinking about the following questions:

  1. How well did my Hoop Glider fly?
  2. What could I change about the Hoop Glider to make it fly faster/further?

We then set the challenge of students building a second hoop glider… making only ONE modification from their original design.

Some decided to change the card material to paper, some added extra straws and some added extra hoops.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Afterwards, we went outside again for students to compare which of their hoop gliders flew better… and to think about why.

Obviously, there are plenty of other factors that can affect how well this test works but overall, it was a fun activity to do and a great opportunity for students to think scientifically about something they do all the time.

 

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