Uncanny Motion

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In this activity, learners explore motion and airflow by setting two aluminum cans on their side and blowing air in-between them. Depending on whether air is trapped between the cans or can escape, the cans behave in different ways. Activity includes step-by-step instructions with pictures, an explanation of the science behind the activity, suggested extensions, and teacher tips.

Quick Guide

Preparation Time:
Under 5 minutes

Learning Time:
Under 5 minutes

Estimated Materials Cost:
1 cent - $1 per student

Age Range:
Ages 8 - 18

Resource Type:


Materials List (per student)

  • Two empty soda cans
  • Two straws
  • Flat tabletop


  • Engineering and Technology
  • Physical Sciences
    • Motion and Forces


Includes alignment to state and/or national standards:

This resource is part of:

Access Rights:

  • Free access