Innovating with air

Suitable for Year Levels 5–8

The Think Ahead exhibition at Scienceworks explores innovation over time across several themes. One of these themes is Transport. In the virtual exhibition tour you may have come across many models of innovative transport, whether by road, by water or by air. One form of transport that fascinated the exhibition curators when they were designing the exhibition is travel by vacuum tube. This fascination resulted in the installation of a winding Lamson tube network that moves a capsule overhead through the exhibition. 

To design innovative transport options with air, scientists and engineers must draw on their knowledge and experience tinkering with the physics of air. In 2019, Scienceworks developed a brand new exhibition called Air Playground so that everyone can experiment with the properties of air.

Select an activity

Pick one of these activities that you can try at home to help you understand the physics of air. What did you discover?

  • Can you invent something that can move things with air? Here’s an an activity to get you started on your air-xploration!
  • Investigate what makes a paper plane fly better than a piece of paper.
  • What features help something float or flutter in a breeze? Start with the template and then make changes to test your ideas! Can you get inspiration from any floating seeds or leaves in the garden?

Extended project ideas:

  • Get making with these projects and share your designs with us on social media!

Victorian Curriculum Links

Design and Technologies

Levels 5–8

  • Technologies and Society
  • Creating Designed Solutions, Investigating, Generating


Levels 5–8

  • Science as a Human Endeavour
  • Science Inquiry Skills

Chemical sciences Level 5 & 6

  • Solids, liquids and gases behave in different ways and have observable properties that help to classify them (VCSSU076)

Physical sciences Level 7 & 8

  • Change to an object’s motion is caused by unbalanced forces acting on the object; Earth’s gravity pulls objects towards the centre of Earth (VCSSU103)


Measurement and Geometry Level 5 & 6

  • Choose appropriate units of measurement for length, area, volume, capacity and mass (VCMMG195)

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