Gather your supplies and get ready, because we’re about to create an air cannon that can combat air resistance to send a pom-pom ball soaring into the air. That pom-pom won’t know what hit it.
What You Need
- 16-oz. paper cup
- Duct tape
- Plastic newspaper bag or plastic produce bag
- Pom-poms (small & medium-sized)
What You Do
- Using the pencil, poke a hole in the center of the bottom of the paper cup. Smooth out the edges of the hole by twisting the pencil in the hole.
- Open the plastic bag and place it around the mouth of the paper cup.
- Secure the bag around the cup with duct tape. The bag should be airtight to the cup.
- Check for air leaks by blowing into the hole in the bottom of the cup. If you feel air escape, seal the leaks with duct tape.
- Blow into the hole in the bottom of the cup to inflate the plastic bag. Trap as much air as possible inside the air cannon.
- Turn the cup bottom-up and load the pom-pom into the hole in the bottom of the cup. The pom-pom acts as a plug that holds the air in the cannon.
- To launch the pom-pom, firmly press on the bag. Air will rush out of the cannon and send the pom-pom flying!
Explore different techniques by changing how hard or fast you press or squeeze the bag, using different pom-pom sizes, or testing other objects as ammo.
By Girlstart. The world’s greatest challenges need new STEM ideas. Yet half the world’s potential ideamakers — women and girls — are often discouraged from STEM fields. We believe that more girls with more ideas will create more solutions to benefit us all. Visit us online at girlstart.org.