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Puff Mobile

In this engineering activity, challenge learners to design a car using only 3 straws, 4 Lifesavers™, 1 piece of paper, 2 paper clips, tape, and scissors. The catch is that in order to make their car move, they can only blow on it. Learner experiment and redesign to see how far their cars can travel. [Activity is publicly available through a web crawler capture on]

Quick Guide

Preparation Time:
Under 5 minutes

Learning Time:
10 to 30 minutes

Estimated Materials Cost:
$1 - $5 per student

Age Range:
Ages 6 - 11

Resource Types:
Activity, Experiment/Lab Activity


Materials List (per student)

  • 3 nonbendable, plastic drinking straws
  • 4 Lifesavers™
  • 1 piece of paper
  • 2 paper clips
  • tape
  • scissors


  • Engineering and Technology
    • Engineering
      • Mechanical Engineering
      • Transportation Engineering
  • Physical Sciences
    • Energy
      • Energy and Power
      • Work and Machines
    • Motion and Forces
      • Machines
      • Momentum and Velocity
    • States of Matter
      • Gases
  • The Nature of Science
    • The Scientific Process
      • Conducting Investigations
      • Formulating Explanations
      • Communicating Results
  • The Nature of Technology
    • The Design Process
      • Invention and Innovation
      • Problem Solving
      • Troubleshooting and Maintenance

Informal Categories

  • Toys
  • Transportation


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



  • All Rights Reserved, WGBH Educational Foundation, ©2002

Funding Sources:

  • National Science Foundation, 0229796
  • Corporation for Public Broadcasting
  • The Arthur Vining Davis Foundation
  • PBS


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