Air Cannon

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In this quick and easy activity, learners build an air cannon "drum" and see what happens when they "shoot" puffs of air at different targets. The activity allows learners to submit online how far away they were able to hit targets with air from their drum. This activity would be great for units on vibration and sound, and a fun choice for rainy days.

Quick Guide

Preparation Time:
5 to 10 minutes

Learning Time:
10 to 30 minutes

Estimated Materials Cost:
1 cent - $1 per group of students

Age Range:
Ages 8 - 14

Resource Type:


Materials List (per group of students)

  • a large can or bucket
  • a plastic bag
  • a large rubber band, or a roll of duct tape


  • Physical Sciences
    • States of Matter
      • Gases
    • Vibration and Waves
      • Wave Properties

Informal Categories

  • Citizen Science


Learning styles supported:

  • Involves hands-on or lab activities


This resource is part of:

Access Rights:

  • Free access


  • Twin Cities Public Television

Source Collections

  • Science After School Consumer's Guide
  • DragonflyTV


  • , Twin Cities Public Television, Inc., 2006

Funding Sources:

  • National Science Foundation
  • Best Buy Children's Foundation