Straws and Airplanes

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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