Wind Tube

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In this activity, learners explore moving air and the physics of lift and drag by constructing homemade wind tunnels. Use this activity to illustrate Newton's Second Law of Motion (F=ma) and to demonstrate how things heavier than air (like airplanes) are able to fly. Note: a drill and other specialty tools are required for this activity, but are not included in the cost of materials. [Activity is publicly available through a web crawler capture on]

Quick Guide

Preparation Time:
Under 5 minutes

Learning Time:
1 to 2 hours

Estimated Materials Cost:
$10 - $20 per group of students

Age Range:
Ages 6 - 11

Resource Types:
Activity, Lesson/Lesson Plan, Model


Materials List (per group of students)

  • 1 large piece of wood (8"x8")
  • 1 medium piece of wood
  • 1 long clear plastic tube (or make one with transparent paper and tape)
  • 4 wooden legs
  • 1 motor
  • 1 plastic propeller, or plastic bottle and glue stick to make propeller
  • 2 9V batteries (to run motor)
  • 2 9V battery snaps
  • 2 9V battery holders (optional)
  • 1 switch (optional)
  • 1 small plastic tube or canister (optional)
  • electrical wire
  • 1 roll of duct tape
  • piece of cardboard
  • 1 screen with fairly large holes
  • glue gun
  • wood planer
  • chisel
  • saw
  • ruler
  • pencil
  • sandpaper
  • T-square (optional)
  • hole saw
  • vice or clamp
  • nail
  • hand saw
  • materials to put in tube (i.e. scrunched up paper, balls)


  • Earth and Space Science
    • Earth Structure
      • Atmosphere
  • Engineering and Technology
    • Engineering
      • Aerospace Engineering
      • Transportation Engineering
  • Physical Sciences
    • Energy
      • Energy and Power
    • Motion and Forces
      • Gravity
      • Acceleration
      • Newton's Laws
    • States of Matter
      • Gases
    • Structure and Properties of Matter
      • Mass and Weight
  • The Nature of Science
    • The Scientific Process
      • Conducting Investigations

Informal Categories

  • Toys
  • Transportation


To use this activity, learners need to:

  • see
  • touch

Learning styles supported:

  • Involves hands-on or lab activities


Components that are part of this resource:

Includes alignment to state and/or national standards:

This resource is part of:

Access Rights:

  • Free access


  • Fresno Community Science Workshop


  • All rights reserved, Fresno Community Science Workshop, 2013

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