This post is sponsored by Experimentary
Make a hoop glider paper plane and use it to do some fun, hands-on, science experiments!
Plus a free printable paper plane testing worksheets so you can test your designs and find the best hoop glider or paper plane design!
If you’ve got kids who love science, or if you’d like your kids to be interested in science but you aren’t really sure where to start, you are going to love this simple physical science experiment and the fabulous Experimentary website which will help you engage your kids with lots of fun science learning.
Experimentary is a fabulous, Australian based website, hosted by TV presenter and former CSIRO scientist, Dr Rob Bell. It’s full of loads of curriculum-based science activities, with videos explaining how to do each experiment and the science behind each activity. Experimentary makes it easy for both teachers and parents to get kids doing experiments, and learning not just the science content, but also how to ‘do science’, plus it’s lots of fun too!
Experimentary has so many cool science activities to try. The experiments are designed for kids aged 5-14, with most experiments having options for three different grade ranges, so if you are a home schooler with kids of various ages, everyone can work on the same activity at their own level.
The experiments use items you probably already have at home, and each one includes three videos, easy to follow instructions, and a digital lab book section so the kids can record what they are learning. They cover physical sciences, earth and space sciences, biological sciences, chemical sciences and design & technologies so there is something for everyone.
How to Make a Hoop Glider Paper Plane
When my youngest kiddo had a look through some of the activities on offer at Experimentary he had trouble deciding which one to try first, there were too many cool things to choose from! Eventually he decided on the Flying Rings Experiment and we had lots of fun learning to make a hoop glider paper plane, learning all about how, and why they work, and doing an experiment to see how variations to the design affects the flight of the glider.
We are sharing how to make a hoop glider paper plane and some ideas for how to experiment with the design, but for the full experiment, including videos and digital lab book, sign up for a free trial of Experimentary.
Making a ring wing, or hoop glider paper plane is fun and easy and you only need a few materials.
Hoop Glider Paper Plane Materials
We used big fat straws recycled from frozen drinks, but you could also make these with paper straws. We used coloured printer paper, but any paper or light card will do. You could colour or add designs to plain paper and white paper straws to make your own unique looking hoop glider!
To conduct and record the results of your experimenting a tape measure is also useful, or perhaps you can think of another way to measure distance?
Putting Your Hoop Glider Together.
To make a hoop glider paper plane you’ll need two strips of paper that are 2cms wide. One strip needs to be 15cms long, and the other 20cms long.
Tape the strips into two loops, or ‘hoops’.
Next you need to tape the loops to the straw, one at each end. The big loop goes at the back and the small loop goes at the front. Try to line up the rings as you tape them onto the straw.
Now you hoop glider is ready to fly!
Check out our video to see how we made the hoop glider and see it flying!
Hoop Glider Science – How it Works.
Once you’ve made one hoop glider, you’ll want to make a few more so you can try some experimenting. Try making slight differences to the design of your gliders so you can test them against each other.
What happens if you change the size of the rings?
What happens if you add more than two rings?
What happens if you change the shape of the loops? Fold them into square shapes and see if it still flies.
What happens if you make the straw longer or shorter?
The Experimentary site has some great hoop glider experiments to try for all age groups, and there is also a great video explaining how the hoop glider works and showing some real world examples of the design.
Free Printable Paper Plane Testing Worksheet
We tested some gliders with design variations and I made a printable worksheet so we could record the results.
This printable is an A4 sized pdf file, you will need a pdf reader such as adobe acrobat to open it. It will fit to print on US ‘letter sized’ paper, just be sure to select ‘fit’ or ‘shrink to fit’ from your printer options to allow for printer margins.
Please remember that the printables at picklebums.com are for personal use only, you may not sell, share, or link directly to these files.
Get a Free Trial at Experimentary
The flying rings experiment is just one of many super cool, hands-on, science activities you can find at Experimentary.
There is over 60 hours of hands-on science to explore with more being added all the time. If you are a teacher, home schooler, or a parent who is looking for a fun, and easy way to get your kids engaged in science you need to check out Experimentary.
You can sign up for a free, 14 day trial of Experimentary here, so you can try out all the features, access all the experiments, and get your kids doing science!