Fruit-Fuel, it's not rocket science!

excellent experiments

Back to discovery lab

Hoop Glider

What it's all about?

This experiment explores how air resistance or drag affects how an object falls.

Hoop Glider

What you will need

  • A straight drinking straw
  • Stiff paper or card (about postcard thickness)
  • Sticking tape
  • Scissors

Make Sure an adult iS preSent when you try thiS experiment*

What to do

make sure an adult is around to help
  • Cut the card into three separate strips that measure 2.5cm by 13cm.
  • Use two pieces of card to create a hoop. Overlap the ends to keep a nice round shape.
  • Use the remaining strip of paper to create a smaller hoop, overlapping the edges as before.
  • Tape the straw to the inside of the paper hoop so that they are aligned.
  • Hold the straw in the middle with the hoops on top and throw it in the air as you would do a normal paper aeroplane. See how far you can get it to travel. 

Experiment with different length straws and different sized hoops. Do more hoops make it glide better?

how does it work?

Can we really call that a plane? It may look weird, but you will discover it flies surprisingly well! The two sizes of hoops help to keep the straw balanced as it flies. The big hoop creates "drag" (or air resistance) which helps keep the straw level, while the smaller hoop at the front keeps your super hooper from turning off course. Some have asked why the plane does not turn over since the hoops are heavier than the straw. Since objects of different weight generally fall at the same speed, the hoop will keep its "upright" position.

Find more fun experiments like this one.

*As we’re not there to control things, we can’t accept liability for anything that goes wrong.