Rosie Revere Engineer STEM Activity: Paper Plate Hovercraft

My kids are big into engineering and STEM, so when we found the book Rosie Revere Engineer, of course we had to buy it. This book is so much fun, because not only does it show kids that they can be inventors too, but it stresses the importance of failure as part of the engineering process. Rosie’s first design doesn’t work, but that’s totally OK!

Rosie Revere Engineer was our inspiration for this paper plate hovercraft. 

Your kids can become engineers like Rosie Revere with this paper plate hovercraft project inspired by the book Rosie Revere Engineer!

MATERIALS NEEDED FOR THE ROSIE REVERE ENGINEER PAPER PLATE HOVERCRAFT:

Your kids can become engineers like Rosie Revere with this paper plate hovercraft project inspired by the book Rosie Revere Engineer!

We decided since Rosie makes a flying machine, we ought to try and make one too.

My kids have been wanting to make a paper plate hovercraft for a while, so that is what we decided to do. We settled on this design because it uses the least number of supplies, and even my preschooler could help put it together.

Your kids can become engineers like Rosie Revere with this paper plate hovercraft project inspired by the book Rosie Revere Engineer!

First, cut a small hole in the center of your paper plate. Stick the straw through it.

Flip the plate upside down and move the straw so that the plate can lay flat on a table.

Cut off half of the straw sticking up from the plate.

Your kids can become engineers like Rosie Revere with this paper plate hovercraft project inspired by the book Rosie Revere Engineer!

Stick the balloon over the straw and tape with duct tape. Make sure no air can escape from the balloon through the hole in the top of the plate.

Your kids can become engineers like Rosie Revere with this paper plate hovercraft project inspired by the book Rosie Revere Engineer!

Stick another straw into the bottom straw on the top of the plate. Push it together to eliminate air holes.

Blow up the balloon by blowing into the straw.

Your kids can become engineers like Rosie Revere with this paper plate hovercraft project inspired by the book Rosie Revere Engineer!

Pinch the end of the balloon to hold the air inside.

Flip the plate upside down and place on a flat surface.

Your kids can become engineers like Rosie Revere with this paper plate hovercraft project inspired by the book Rosie Revere Engineer!

Release the balloon.

The air pressure from the balloon will cause an air pocket to form under the plate, allowing it to rise just slightly and move across the plate until the balloon runs out of air.

Your kids can become engineers like Rosie Revere with this paper plate hovercraft project inspired by the book Rosie Revere Engineer!

You’ve created your very own flying machine!

hovercraft create your own engineering for kids

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12 Comments

    1. I’m sorry the activity did not work for you like it did for us. With so many variables within the weight of the plate, tape, air pressure it can hard to pinpoint why an activity did not work. But as a STEM activity, that is part of the process! Testing and trying different variables to see what makes the activity successful.

  1. Tried this multiple times with plates and straws of different sizes. Even tried with CDs and a sports bottle nozzle. No luck. This doesn’t work.

    1. I’m sorry you are having trouble the experiment. We only post activities that have worked for us, but many variables can affect the outcome of a science experiment.

    1. I’m sorry that you had a disappointing experience with this experiment. As with any of our STEM projects we encourage kids to use the things that did not work to help them figure out what will work. Perhaps the style of plate weighed to much or another variable affected the outcome.

    2. I was using this idea for my science fair project, seeing the differences in products that were new and used and after multiple attempts i did not get it to work. Disappointed and will have to figure out a new idea

    1. I encourage you to keep trying! It did work when we made it, but, of course differences in materials can make an experiment have different results.