What you’ll need
- Paper, e.g., from an old brochure or magazine
- Paper drinking straws or wooden skewers
- Adhesive tape
- A ruler
How to do it
When you throw a straw, it rotates around its own axis and quickly falls to the ground. But with the rings attached, it remains stable and glides a short distance.
What’s the secret?
Your ring glider is subject to four physical forces:
- Gravity: It pulls the glider towards the ground.
- Lift: Differences in air pressure between the top and bottom of the rings keep the ring in the air for longer and allow it to glide like the wings of an aircraft.
- Thrust: When you launch your ring glider, you “push” it in a certain direction, like the engine of an aircraft.
- Drag: When you launch the glider, the surrounding air is moved and carried along. This kind of friction takes energy away from your glider and eventually causes it to drop to the ground.