Hoop Gliders

Most of us have flown a paper airplane, but have you ever flown a hoop glider? Make one at home and test the forces of flight in an experiment!


You’ll need: 1 drinking straw, construction paper, 2 4×6 index cards or card paper, a ruler, scissors and invisible tape




  1. Measure and cut 3 strips of paper that each measure 1 inch by 5 inches.
  2. Take 2 of the strips of paper and tape them together into a hoop shape. Make sure to overlap the pieces by about half an inch so the hoop is round.
  3. Use the last strip of paper to make a smaller hoop
  4. Tape the loops to the ends of the straw, with the straw lined up on the inside of the hoops.
  5. Hold the middle of the straw with the hoops on top and throw it!


How It Works:


The big hoop creates “drag” (air resistance) to keep the straw level and the smaller loop keeps the glider from flying off course.


Take it Further:


  1. What happens if you place the hoops somewhere else on the straw?
  2. Does the number of hoops affect how far the glider flies?
  3. What do you think will happen if you use a smaller piece of straw?


Sponsored by National Grid.

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