Magnus Glider

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A design challenge that takes paper airplanes into an entirely different direction: a magnus glider uses cups and and rubber bands to create a glider that uses the same forces that a curveball (from baseball) uses to stay up and curve.

Quick Guide

Preparation Time:
Under 5 minutes

Learning Time:
10 to 30 minutes

Estimated Materials Cost:
1 cent - $1 per student

Age Range:
Ages 4 - adult

Resource Type:


Materials List (per student)

  • Styrofoam cups (2 each) variety of sizes lets the learner explore how size and weight affect the flight
  • Masking tape (variety of colors)
  • Rubber Bands (3-4 thin rubber bands 2-4 inches in length)


  • Engineering and Technology
    • Engineering
      • Aerospace Engineering
  • Physical Sciences
    • Motion and Forces
      • Machines
      • Acceleration
      • Rotation Motion
  • The Nature of Technology
    • The Design Process
      • Problem Solving


Components that are part of this resource:

This resource is part of:

Access Rights:

  • Free access


Funding Source:

  • Noyce Foundation