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Picture of Hoop Gliders Galore

I came across these hoop gliders several years ago, but I revisited them with my children when we were participating in the Tech Challenge 2016, Taking Flight. And just like the Birds of PLAY, we made these gliders to prototype (we thought using the gliders in the shape of birds would be fun at the competition) and understand the mechanics of flight.

Before you start, throw a plain straw. Does it fly well? Not really. It’s because the straw doesn’t have wings. It has nothing to generate lift. But when you add hoops, they act as wings, generating lift. And depending on where you put the hoops, your hoop glider will generate more lift or less. You experiment with sizes and locations of the hoops and decide what works best for your hoop glider.

These are quite simple to make, and they are incredibly fun to throw and watch them fly. This is a great project you can do with your children/students inexpensively. I hope you try this project and have a lot of fun.

Step 1: List of Supplies

Picture of List of Supplies

  • Straws (different lengths and diameters)
  • Paper strips (copy paper, construction paper, cardstock, etc., whatever you have handy)
  • Scissors
  • Adhesive tape

Fun stuff! I love all the variations you tried!
Kto6Science (author)  Penolopy Bulnick4 months ago
Thanks! It's crazy how imaginative kids can be.
Kto6Science (author)  Penolopy Bulnick1 year ago
Thanks! And it's so easy, too. Some students have tried squares and rectangles, too.

Have a great day.