From paper planes to fighter jets, rockets and everything in between, there is one thing they all need - guidance. 

Phil is all set for lift-off with some aircraft that you can make at home and will hep you understand some basic concepts of aerodynamics.

In this Hub Lab we will...
1.  Investigate air flow
2.  Explore how planes steer and fly
3.  Set up a testing plan to see what difference change makes

This is a nice simple experiment where you can introduce the concept of airflow as well has introducing the participants to the process involved in setting up a series of tests.

Paper airplanes are gliders. The basic shape of a paper airplane includes wings and a body. The wings enable a plane to push against and sit on top the air its flying over.

What we are exploring here though are the other bits that stick out the: rudders, tails, ailerons and/or flaps. All of these are designed to use the push of the air that they hit to move the rest of the plane and change the flight direction or performance. A aileron can help to turn the airplane whereas a rudder can do this as well as helping stabilise the plane and keep it straight. This is incredible useful and it is a technology used on lots of things that move through air and water.


The purpose of putting fins on a rocket is similar as they allow the rocket to fly in the direction you want it to. A rocket launched without fins would tumble around after leaving the pad, due to the way the aerodynamics and things like wind act upon the rocket, related to the forces that act upon the rocket by the motor and by gravity pulling it down. You'd have a big random rocket much like a balloon.

Download all the instructions below...

After School Hub is on TV at 3.20pm every weekday on RTÉ2 or catch up on RTÉ Player.

We ALWAYS want to see your experiments from home so keep uploading them HERE