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Active Time
20-30 minutes
Total Project Time
20-30 minutes
Key Concepts
Physics, air, pressure


Here is a riddle for you: I am everywhere but you don't see me—what am I? The answer is: air! It is all around us, but it is usually invisible. We can, however, see the effect air has—for example when wind is moving tree branches. Air can move gently to create a nice breeze or turn into a wild and destructive hurricane. Not only can wind move objects with air, you can do it, too—as long as the objects are not too heavy! You can, for example blow on something—or you can create an air cannon, which shoots big blasts of air into…the air! Curious how this works? Then try this activity to find out!


Svenja Lohner, PhD, Science Buddies
This activity is not appropriate for use as a science fair project. Good science fair projects have a stronger focus on controlling variables, taking accurate measurements, and analyzing data. To find a science fair project that is just right for you, browse our library of over 1,200 Science Fair Project Ideas or use the Topic Selection Wizard to get a personalized project recommendation.


  • Disposable plastic or paper cups (one eight-ounce and one 16-ounce size)
  • Scissors
  • Adult helper
  • Balloons (2)
  • Toilet paper
  • Duct tape
  • Measuring tape
  • Pen
  • Paper
    Materials needed for the Build a Vortex Canon activity


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Active Time
20-30 minutes
Total Project Time
20-30 minutes
Key Concepts
Physics, air, pressure
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