Amazing Air

Source Institutions

Source Institutions

Add to list Go to activity
In this activity, learners construct a small "air cannon," and use its airflow to put out a candle (lit with the help of an adult). The "air cannon" is an empty salt carton with a plastic bag rubber-banded around the cut-off bottom, though other containers could be tried. Learners can submit online the distance from the candle the air cannon successfully blows it out. This activity should be done in a fire-safe environment.

Quick Guide

Preparation Time:
Under 5 minutes

Learning Time:
10 to 30 minutes

Estimated Materials Cost:
$1 - $5 per group of students

Age Range:
Ages 8 - 14

Resource Type:


Materials List (per group of students)

  • an empty salt carton
  • a plastic sandwich bag
  • a rubber band
  • a lit candle


  • Physical Sciences
    • Heat and Thermodynamics
    • States of Matter
      • Gases
    • Vibration and Waves

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


  • All rights reserved, Twin Cities Public Television, Inc., 2006

Funding Sources:

  • National Science Foundation
  • Best Buy Children's Foundation