Puff Cars

Experience a hands-on activity that blends STEM and youth development.

Activity Idea
Building an air powered car

Materials & Equipment
3 straws
50 cm. of masking tape (you measure)
1 piece of paper
2 paper clips
4 Lifesavers
Tape ruler

Activity Steps
Your challenge, as a table, is to build an air powered car using only the materials provided and within the limited timeframe. 

  1. Identify an observer in your group, that person is responsible for giving feedback on how your group completes this activity. 
  2. Build your puff car using only the materials provided.
  3. Make a prediction about how far the car will go.
  4. Test your vehicle by blowing on it to get it moving and see how far it goes.
  5. Measure the distance your car went.  How can your improve its performance?
  6. Keep testing and refining your car to get ready for the race.
  7. Race!


  • Observers tell us did you see happening in your groups?
  • How well did your group work together? What about when there were disagreements?
  • Did your group plan?
  • How did they do with participating and following the directions?