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In this activity, learners will build an air cannon out of simple materials you can find around the house. Although air is invisible to the eye, it is not by any means empty space! The cannon demonstrate that air has volume, takes up space and can apply force to solid objects. [Activity is publicly available through a web crawler capture on Activity write-up only, images are unavailable.]

Quick Guide

Preparation Time:
Under 5 minutes

Learning Time:
10 to 30 minutes

Estimated Materials Cost:
1 cent - $1 per student

Age Range:
Ages 8 - 14

Resource Type:


Materials List (per student)

  • Plastic Water or Bottle, 20 oz (cap removed)
  • Scissors
  • Balloon
  • Duct Tape or Electrical Tape
  • Paper Confetti


  • Physical Sciences
    • Energy
    • Motion and Forces
      • Machines
    • States of Matter
      • Gases
    • Structure and Properties of Matter
      • Mass and Weight
      • Volume and Density


To use this activity, learners need to:

  • see
  • touch

Learning styles supported:

  • Involves hands-on or lab activities


Access Rights:

  • Free access


Source Collection

  • TryScience


  • All rights reserved, Reuben H. Fleet Science Center,