Paper Activities

Wing It

This educational kids' activity uses paper and kids' wind power to demonstrate how humans learned to fly!

What You'll Need:

  • Paper
  • Scissors
  • Ruler

Daniel Bernoulli, a Swiss scientist, discovered in 1738 that moving air has less pushing power than still air. This idea, called Bernoulli's principle, is used in the design of airplanes. To demonstrate the principle, cut a strip of paper 2 inches wide and about 8 inches long.

Step 1: Have your child hold one corner of a 2-inch side of the strip in each hand, and hold it just below her lower lip.

Step 2: Have your child gently blow across the strip of paper. She will see that the paper rises.

What happened? The air that flows over the top of the paper is moving air, so it has less pushing power.

The air pressure underneath the strip remains normal. The strong air pressure underneath pushes up and causes the strip of paper to lift.

Wings of airplanes are shaped with curved tops to make the air move fast, and the fast-moving air along the top of the wing reduces air pressure and causes lift.

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