STEAM Saturday – May the 4th Be With You! (5/4/2024)


Today is May the 4th, also celebrated by Star Wars fans the world over as Star Wars Day! In honor of this illustrious holiday, today’s STEAM Saturday project will explore the science behind landspeeders! Your little Star Wars fan will have a blast learning about friction and aerodynamics while you make a hovercraft together!

HovercraftSo, what is a hovercraft? It is a vehicle that glides over a surface on a cushion of air. The air reduces the hovercraft’s friction with the surface below, creating a smooth ride. Hovercrafts can glide over ground or water!

You can make your own hovercraft at home with only a few items. Here’s what you’ll need:

  • A pop top lid from a drinking bottle
  • An old CD or DVD that you aren’t using anymore
  • A medium sized balloon (should be able to inflate to 11 inches in diameter)
  • Craft glue or super glue
  • A timer (you can find one on most phones)

First, glue your pop top lid to the CD or DVD so that it covers the hole in the center of the disc. You will want to help your child with this part of the project, particularly if you are using super glue. Make sure the pop top is closed. Next, blow up your balloon as much as possible without popping it. Pinch the neck so no air can escape. Carefully stretch your balloon over the pop-top lid, making sure not to let any air out.

HovercraftNow it’s time to test your hovercraft! Place it on a flat surface, start your timer, open the pop top, and push your hovercraft. Time how long it takes for it to stop hovering. Take the balloon off, blow it back up, and try again. Test your hovercraft multiple times using different amounts of air. How does that affect the amount of hover time?

Check out the full experiment and more of the science behind it from Science Buddies HERE!

As always, get as creative as you want, and above all, have lots of fun learning together!

We’ll see you right back here next Saturday for another STEAM Saturday activity!  Scroll through the rest of our website to learn how Critchlow Adkins is Building Brighter Futures for the children and families we serve!

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