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Air Car

Activity Supplies

  • 1 Printed Template
  • 3 Drinking straws (at least one must be a bendy straw)
  • 4 Round candies with a hole in the center (Lifesavers, etc.)
  • Scissors
  • Tape

Specialty Supplies

  • Source of wind (box fan, etc.)

Activity Steps

  1. Make copies of the template (available below), one for each youth. Cardstock is preferred, but regular paper will work.
  2. Watch the how-to video above before starting the activity.
  3. Cut along the solid lines of the template but not the dashed lines. Parts A, B, and C will serve as the body of the air car and the square on the low righthand side (with the WVU and 4-H Clover logo) will serve as the sail.
  4. On the car body, the dashed lines are “fold” lines.  Make the folds on the car template towards the center of the B section on the car body.
  5. Next, place the axles on the air car at part B. You will use two straws.  If the straws have bendy ends - cut the flexible parts off. Attach the straw with two pieces of tape to the inside at section B of your air car body.
  6. Using scissors, place the sail on the air car by making holes where the three blue dots are. One is on the air car body (Part C).  Take the bendy straw and bend it into an L-shape.  Put the short end of the straw into this hole and tape it down. Next, slide the longer part of the straw through each of the two holes on the sail.
  7. Now fold up and close the car body with tape across the back of sections A and C to secure your sail. 
  8. Last use the Lifesavers for the wheels by placing a candy on each axle straw and putting a small piece of tape on the outside of the lifesaver to secure it on the straw.
  9. Put your car in front of a wind source, like a box fan, and try to make it move. If you are building with others, try and race your cars to see whose is fastest.
  10. After racing the air car, make adjustments that will help catch more air or will allow your car to go straighter or farther.  These might include placing more tape on your sail to ensure it doesn’t bend from too much air during the race. Making sure your wheels are spinning freely to reduce friction.  What other “tweaks” can be made to improve the results?

Air Car Template