DIY Giant Air Bazooka!

This is one project that we had a ton of fun with, and it’s something you can do at home! Here is how we made our giant air cannon.

  • Lets start with the materials you will need.
  • Help from an adult. They will need something sharp.
  • A trash can or bucket, and permission to ruin it
  • Plastic sheet–such as a shower curtain, or plastic trash bags
  • Tape or bungee cords, or both!

shooting

This can be done with almost any size of bucket or trashcan. Larger containers will be more dramatic. Once you have made your selection, make sure the plastic sheets that you have are big enough to cover the mouth of the vessel. then…

Start by cutting a hole in the bottom right in the center. The perfect size for this depends on the size of the trashcan, with smaller ones needing a smaller hole. You are aiming for something between 2 and 5 inches across. Get an adult to help with this. Depending on the material of the trashcan, a knife, box cutter, or sawzall might be the best tool for the job.

IMG_2601Turn it over so the newly cut hole is on the floor. Stretch your plastic material over the large mouth of it, and attach it    with bungee cords. Ours still slipped a bit so we added some tape.

IMG_2564

Take aim! The bottom of the trashcan is now the muzzle of your giant air cannon! Fire it at your friends, or knock over stacks of cups by lightly smacking the plastic covering the opening! Have fun!

HappyZack

One interesting thing: Sometimes when you fire at something and miss by a little bit, it will get pulled backwards! This is because the air that you shot out is interacting with the air molecules around the room. Below is a cool animation of how the air gets stirred up when it goes through the room

Animation of how the air molecules interact when a pocket of air is shot through stationary air. Credit: William J. Beaty

Animation of how the air molecules interact when a pocket of air is shot through stationary air. Credit: William J. Beaty

If you can get some fog into the can, it will blow smoke rings! Looking at the animation above, you can see why the smoke rings form. The smoke is in the swirling red bits above. In two dimensions, this just looks like a couple of circles, but that is the cross section of a ring. As the smoke passes through the air, it spreads out a bit, leading to the rings you see below!

biggif

WELCOME TO OUR ASTROCAMP BLOG

We would like to thank you for visiting our blog. AstroCamp is a hands-on physical science program with an emphasis on astronomy and space exploration. Our classes and activities are designed to inspire students toward future success in their academic and personal pursuits. This blog is intended to provide you with up-to-date news and information about our camp programs, as well as current science and astronomical happenings. This blog has been created by our staff who have at least a Bachelors Degree in Physics or Astronomy, however it is not uncommon for them to have a Masters Degree or PhD. We encourage you to also follow us on Facebook, Instagram, Google+, Twitter, and Vine to see even more of our interesting science, space and astronomy information. Feel free to leave comments, questions, or share our blog with others. Please visit www.astrocampschool.org for additional information. Happy Reading!

Categories

Archives

Tags