Believe it or not, July 2 is World UFO Day and we are over the moon for science! Yup, according to a recent report, there have been more than 105,000 UFO sightings reported over the last 100 years, with the majority of sightings occurring in the U.S. And every year in July, alien aficionados from around the world spend the day celebrating the possibility of life in outer space. There’s even a three-day festival in the UFO Capital of the World, Roswell, New Mexico.
You and your little aliens can celebrate, too, with this UFO launcher craft you can make at home!
What You’ll Need
- Plastic drinking straws
- Plastic pipettes or drinking straws larger than the first set
What You’ll Do
Find a UFO template or image online and print or draw at roughly 4×4” (you can fit about four UFOs to an 8.5×11 sheet of paper).
Have your child color the UFO with markers. Then cut out the UFO.
Next, cut the thin straw portion and bottom of the pipette off and tape it to the center of the back of your UFO. If you don’t have a pipette, you can make your own mini air pocket by attaching a rectangular piece of paper to the back of your UFO, leaving only the bottom open and sealing the other sides securely with tape.
Insert the straw into the pipette and blow to launch your UFO, then watch as it flutters gracefully to the floor in a silent space-style landing.
What You’ll Learn
- Motion! Explain to your kids that objects can move forward and backward horizontally on a flat plane, like when you’re pushing a toy car on the floor, and that objects can also move up and down, in a vertical motion, like tossing a ball straight up in the air. To move in any direction, objects need a force, like your kids’ breath blown through a straw or their hand pushing the ball upward.
- Projectile Motion! Objects don’t always move in a straight line up, down, forward, or back, though. Sometimes, like when your kids throw a basketball into a hoop, objects move both up and forward. Objects can also move backward and down, like when your kids toss a piece of trash into a trashcan behind them. These curved movements are called Projectile Motion.
- Gravity! What comes up must come down! To explain WHY objects like your UFOs can travel along curved paths, and why they don’t just keep on flying forever, we have to explain gravity. Gravity is the pull of the Earth that keeps everyone and everything on it from flying off into space. This includes your UFO. Gravity is pulling down on it as it’s flying forward, causing a downward arc or curve toward the ground.