Marshmallow Puff Tube

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In this demonstration/activity, learners observe as a regular size marshmallow is blown through a tube made from a manila file folder. The result is spectacular, and the process provides a great illustration of Newton's 2nd Law, F=ma.

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 - 18

Resource Types:
Activity, Demonstration


Materials List (per group of students)

  • 1 manila file folder
  • 1 empty cardboard toilet paper tube
  • scissors
  • masking tape and/or translucent tape
  • a few marshmallows (full-size, not miniature)


  • Physical Sciences
    • Motion and Forces
      • Momentum and Velocity
      • Acceleration
      • Projectile Motion
      • Newton's Laws
  • The Nature of Science
    • The Scientific Process
      • Conducting Investigations

Informal Categories

  • Food and Cooking
  • Toys


To use this activity, learners need to:

  • see
  • touch

Learning styles supported:

  • Involves hands-on or lab activities


This resource is part of:

Access Rights:

  • Free access


  • Rathjen, Don


  • All rights reserved, Exploratorium, 2007