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Homemade Hovercraft!


Source Institutions

    Twin Cities Public Television

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Homemade Hovercraft!

This activity (on page 2 of the PDF) is a full inquiry investigation into hovercraft engineering and design optimization. Groups of learners with access to power tools and a wood shop will build a leaf blower-powered hovercraft that they can actually ride and test pilot in various suggested experiments, modifying their design to improve the hovercraft’s speed and maneuverability. Relates to linked video, DragonflyTV: Hovercraft.

Quick Guide


Preparation Time:
30 to 45 minutes

Learning Time:
1 to 7 days

Estimated Materials Cost:
Over $20 per group of students

Age Range:
Ages 8 - 14

Resource Types:
Activity, Experiment/Lab Activity

Language:
English

Materials List (per group of students)


  • 3/4 inch plywood 1/2 sheet, cut into a 4 ft diameter circle
  • plastic disc, approximately 6 inches diameter, like a coffee can lid, or cut from a plastic flying disk
  • heavy plastic sheet, like a picnic table cloth, cut to a 6 ft diameter circle
  • 1/2 inch wood screws, about 6 of them
  • duct tape
  • leaf blower, gasoline or battery powered
  • tape measure
  • electric drill and 1/4 inch drill bit
  • staple gun
  • saber saw

Subjects


  • Earth and Space Science
    • Earth Structure
      • Atmosphere
  • Engineering and Technology
    • Engineering
      • Aerospace Engineering
      • Transportation Engineering
    • Technology
      • Transportation
  • Mathematics
    • Measurement
      • Circles
    • Problem Solving
  • Physical Sciences
    • Energy
      • Work and Machines
    • Motion and Forces
      • Machines
      • Momentum and Velocity
  • The Nature of Science
    • The Scientific Process
      • About Inquiry
      • Asking Questions
      • Conducting Investigations
      • Gathering Data
      • Formulating Explanations
      • Communicating Results
  • The Nature of Technology
    • The Design Process
      • Research and Development
      • Invention and Innovation
      • Problem Solving
      • Troubleshooting and Maintenance

Informal Categories


  • Outdoor Activity
  • Transportation

Audience


To use this activity, learners need to:

  • see
  • read
  • be mobile
  • touch

Learning styles supported:

  • Involves teamwork and communication skills
  • Involves hands-on or lab activities

Culture, ethnicity, and gender

  • Girls

    • Explicity developed for this group
    • Highlights STEM opportunities for this group
    • Identifies role models or mentors in STEM fields from this group
    • Uses inclusive images of people from this group

Other


Components that are part of this resource:

This resource is part of:

Access Rights:

  • Free access

By:

Source Collection:

  • DragonflyTV

Rights:

  • All Rights Reserved, Twin Cities Public Television, Inc., ©2005

Funding Source:

  • National Science Foundation, 436260

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