Gyrocopter

Gyrocopters spin around when they fly and can be fascinating to watch. Learn how to make a gyrocopter with this fun outdoor activity for kids. You can even hold races with your friends.

What You'll Need:
  • Paper
  • Ruler
  • Scissors or pinking shears
  • Paper clip

Step One: A "gyre" is a circular motion; a gyrocopter spins around when it flies. To explore gyre motion, make your own gyrocopter.

Step Two: Cut out a 6-1/2 X 1-1/2-inch strip of paper. (Note: Using pinking shears will make the gyrocopter fly better, but ordinary scissors will work well too.)

Step Three: Starting at the top, cut a 3-inch slit down the middle of the strip to create a pair of wings. Fold the wings in opposite directions. Attach a paper clip to the bottom of the strip for weight.

Step Four: Drop the finished gyrocopter from an elevated spot, and watch it spin to the ground.

Step Five: Now try experimenting. Make larger and smaller gyrocopters to see if size makes a difference when they fly. Think up other experiments you can try -- make the wings longer, add two paper clips to the bottom.

Have gyrocopter races with friends who have made their own 'copters!

Gyrocopters spin in the air, but you'll be spinning while you play the Footprint I.D. game. Learn more on the next page.

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