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Straws and Airplanes

Source Institutions

    Science Museum of Minnesota

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Straws and Airplanes

Create airplanes from straws and geometric shapes. Test them out to see how far they can fly, or how accurately they can be aimed. All you need is a straw, two strips of paper, and some tape to make these strange-looking gliders!

Quick Guide

Preparation Time:
Under 5 minutes

Learning Time:
30 to 45 minutes

Estimated Materials Cost:
1 cent - $1 per student

Age Range:
Ages 4 - 14

Resource Types:
Activity, Model


Materials List (per student)

  • paper pattern
  • paper
  • scissors
  • straw
  • tape
  • paper pattern
  • paper
  • scissors
  • straw
  • tape


  • Engineering and Technology
    • Engineering
      • Aerospace Engineering
  • Mathematics
    • Geometry
      • Plane Geometry
  • The Nature of Technology
    • The Design Process
      • Invention and Innovation
      • Problem Solving
      • Troubleshooting and Maintenance

Informal Categories

  • Arts and Crafts
  • Outdoor Activity
  • Model Building
  • Physical Activity
  • Toys
  • Transportation


To use this activity, learners need to:

  • see
  • be mobile
  • 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



  • All Rights Reserved, Science Museum of Minnesota, ©1995

Funding Sources:

  • Unisys
  • Science Learning Network
  • National Science Foundation


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