CD Air Puck

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In this activity, learners will use a compact disc to build an air puck that can glide across a smooth tabletop. The puck glides with almost no friction on a cushion of air escaping from a balloon.

Quick Guide

Preparation Time:
Under 5 minutes

Learning Time:
30 to 45 minutes

Estimated Materials Cost:
$1 - $5 per student

Age Range:
Ages 8 - 18

Resource Type:


Materials List (per student)

  • CD
  • film can lid
  • sport top from a water bottle
  • balloon
  • hot melt glue gun and glue sticks
  • drill with a 1/16 inch bit
  • cardboard toilet paper tube
  • scissors
  • smooth tabletop


  • Earth and Space Science
    • Earth Structure
      • Atmosphere
  • Physical Sciences
    • Motion and Forces
  • The Nature of Science
    • The Scientific Process
      • Conducting Investigations

Informal Categories

  • Toys


To use this activity, learners need to:

  • see
  • touch

Learning styles supported:

  • Involves hands-on or lab activities


Components that are part of this resource:

This resource is part of:

Access Rights:

  • Free access


  • Rathjen, Don


  • All rights reserved, Exploratorium, 2003