Hoopster: An Airplane Made from Paper Hoops

Source Institutions

Source Institutions

Add to list Go to activity
Activity link broken? See if it's at the internet archive
This activity provides instructions for making an aircraft that can really fly using a straw and paper hoops! Included are ideas for building various sized and proportioned aircraft, making this a great activity for exploring how experimentation can improve a design.

Quick Guide

Preparation Time:
Under 5 minutes

Learning Time:
10 to 30 minutes

Estimated Materials Cost:
$1 - $5 per student

Age Range:
Ages 4 - 11

Resource Type:


Materials List (per student)

  • scissors
  • ruler
  • 3-x-5-inch file cards (or a file folder or some other stiff paper)
  • clear plastic tape
  • plastic straws (not the kind that bend)


  • Physical Sciences
    • Motion and Forces
      • Newton's Laws

Informal Categories

  • Arts and Crafts
  • Physical Activity
  • Transportation


To use this activity, learners need to:

  • see
  • be mobile
  • touch

Learning styles supported:

  • Involves hands-on or lab activities


This resource is part of:

Access Rights:

  • Free access


  • Murphy, Pat ; Klages, Ellen ; Shore, Linda


  • All rights reserved, The Exploratorium, 1998