Wind Tubes

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In this activity, learners create and experiment with wind tubes. These tubes are a playful and inventive way to explore the effect that moving air has on objects. Construction uses everyday materials such as a fan and embroidery hoops. It’s fun to make things fly out of or float in the tubes, and to adjust the tubes to change the way the objects fly. The activity requires a significant amount of time and resources to build and may require adult help in construction. Experimentation with the wind tubes is engaging for a wide age range of learners.

Quick Guide

Preparation Time:
1 to 2 hours

Learning Time:
1 to 2 hours

Estimated Materials Cost:
Over $20 per group of students

Age Range:
Ages 4 - adult

Resource Types:
Activity, Experiment/Lab Activity


Materials List (per group of students)

  • acetate sheet, 0.0075 inch thick approximately 4-ft x 4-ft
  • several wood embroidery hoops, 14-in
  • transparent tape
  • 3 wooden spacers (2-in x 2-in x 6-in)
  • 18-in fan with 3 speeds and adjustable tilt head
  • scissors
  • hand drill
  • saw
  • 3 7-in cable ties
  • 3 large binder clips
  • thin and think foamies
  • strawberry baskets and other plastic containers
  • feathers
  • skewer sticks
  • wiffle golf balls
  • cardboard tubes
  • pipe cleaners
  • masking tape



  • Engineering and Technology
    • Engineering
  • Physical Sciences
    • Motion and Forces
  • The Nature of Technology
    • The Design Process


To use this activity, learners need to:

  • see
  • be mobile
  • touch

Learning styles supported:

  • Involves hands-on or lab activities


This resource is part of:

Access Rights:

  • Free access



Funding Source:

  • National Science Foundation, ESI-0452567