19.7.11: Making science toys that fly

We had our second lab activity at Pusat Sains Negara. This time we made 3 things:
1) Flying saucer (UFO)
2) Hoopster (Hoops that fly)
3) Parachute

1) Flying Saucer (UFO)
Items required:

  • 1 paper plate

Pn. Maznah of PSN, facilitating the session. 
Fold the paper plate into half
Cut along the folded line, until 1 inch near the edge of the plate. Don't cut through. 
Fold the plate again in half. Cut along the lines. 
The cut another 2 slits, so the whole plate is divided into 8 equal parts
Fold it out
Hold the plate with the jagged edges below and throw it up into the air. Watch it fly.  It is amazing!
The kids trying out their UFO

2) Hoopster
Items required:
  • Cellophane tape
  • 2 cardboard strips
  • 1 straw

For the next craft, we made a hoopster that could fly. 
  1. Take a long strip of cardboard and roll it up. Glue the edges together or stick with cellotape. Make a big hoop. 
  2. Take another strip of carboard and roll it up. Make a smaller hoop.  
  3. Attached the hoops to the ends of a straw.

Here's how to completed hoopster look like. 

Hold the hoopster with the straw on top, and the hoops at the bottom (S is holding his hoopster upside down) and throw it. The hoopster has to be held with the small circle in front and the straw on the top. Raise it above your shoulder and throw it. See it fly. 

When trying out his hoopster, S threw it towards the railing and it landed on the ground floor instead. 

3) Parachute
Items required:
  1. A square piece of lightweight pastic bag
  2. Cellotape
  3. Thread
  4. Small plasticine ball
Tape the sides or tie each corner of the plastic with a piece of thread. 
Knot all 4 ends of the thread together.
Attach a small plasticine ball to the knotted end, to give it some weight.

There are several ways to launch the parachute. You can fold the plastic, hold it up at a higher level, then drop it. Or you can just drop it like that. S decided to stand on a chair and drop his parachute down. E just ended up fiddling with his plasticine ball.  

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