Let air whisk you away and be the wind beneath your wings as you explore this mostly invisible phenomena. Use wind to propel your investigations in movement through pinwheels, lanterns, seed pods, and more.
Feeling social? Share what you make. Use the hashtag #WindAndAir and you might be featured on the Exploratorium's Explore page!
Wind and air driven art pieces and their creators.
Did you grow up making paper airplanes? Whether you are a life long paper airplane pilot or just getting off the ground, there are many ways to tinker with flight. Try out different designs and notice the qualities each airplane: good glider, high flyer, spinning dare devil? If you're looking for a place to start, here are five designs with totally different flight patterns from John Collins, the Guinness World Record holder for longest flight.
Whirligigs are wind-driven creations that range from lawn ornaments to paper-crafted creations. Our whirligigs are made entirely from craft supplies (paper cups, paper strips, straws) and recycled materials (cardboard), so you likely have everything you need to make one!
Take paper circuits to new heights with a paper helicopter! Test out different LEDs and see how their light paths compare. In the above two photos, one uses Chibitronics LED lights and the other uses 3mm LEDs.
Play with dropping the helicopter and notice how the lights appear as it spins. For an added experience, consider adding Light Painting to your exploration by using long exposure photography. How does your experience of LED helicopters change when documenting these photographs?
Make your own character using repurposed plastic! This imagination and air-filled activity uses plastic bags of all shapes and sizes. Consider what tool you want to use for filling up your bags with air: a fan, a hairdryer, or something else? Check out these small and supersized inflatables that The Tech Interactive shared, so varied and delightful!
For more information, check out The Tech Interactive's guide to inflatables.
Pneumatics is a form of engineering that takes uses pressurized air or gas. Air can help drive movement in unexpected ways, as seen in this Chain Reaction video.
Interested in adding pneumatics to your toolkit? Grab a balloon and a bike pump and explore what inflating a balloon can move!
Consider trying out pneumatics when you need to get something moving! Syringes and plastic tubing is one way to get to new heights, as seen in this engineered beach chair from Sean Grant. It could also add motion to a complex build, like artist Tim Hunkin's dragon with glowing LED eyes and fierce teeth.
Daniel Wurtzel is a Brooklyn-based artist best known for his kinetic sculptures and installations using air and lightweight materials that fly. Check out more of his work on his website.
Antoine Terrieux is a French artist and magician. He co-directs the Cie Blizzard Concept with artists collaborating on magic, circuis, visual arts, theater, and clown arts. See more of his magical videos on his Vimeo page.
Experiments with science, art,
technology, and delightful ideas.