Sanity Savers: Amelia Earhart Glider

Sponsored by: M&T Bank

Written by: Dan Walsh
STEM Educator   


2 paper strips (both the same width and one longer than the other)


Creation: 5 minutes
Play time: Unlimited!  

Academic Subject(s):

Science, Social Studies  

May 20th is an important day in aviation history! On May 20, 1932, Amelia Earhart took off for her solo flight across the Atlantic Ocean! She was the first woman in history to complete this flight and the only person do to so since Charles Lindbergh. Amelia flew 15 hours non-stop from Harbor Grace, Newfoundland, Canada to Londonderry, Northern Ireland in her red Lockheed Vega airplane. This same plane is now on display at the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum!  To commemorate this important day in aviation history, I am going to teach you how to make your own glider using very simple materials found around your house!


Step 1: Tape one smaller paper ring together. 

Sanity Savers: Amelia Earhart Glider

Step 2: Tape a second, larger paper ring together.  

Sanity Savers: Amelia Earhart Glider

Step 3: Tape the rings to both ends of the straw. Experiment throwing the glider forward or backward.  

Sanity Savers: Amelia Earhart Glider

How does it work?? This plane works by using lift. Lift is the force that keeps the play flying! Air travels through the straw, rings and helps the plane fly!  

Vocabulary Words

Glider: A light aircraft that is designed to fly for long periods of time without an engine.
Transatlantic: crossing the Atlantic Ocean.
Lift: The force that directly opposes the weight of an airplane and it holds that airplane in the air. 

Check out our other Sanity Savers posts here!   

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