The first successful hovercraft, designed and built by English engineer Sir Christopher Cockerell, crossed the English Channel on July 25, 1959. As students build their own working models of a hovercraft, they learn the basic concepts of how a vessel is able to “ride on air.” Once construction is complete, students test their models, make observations, then propose testable questions. As students plan and carry out investigations, redesigning their models if they choose, they gain valuable experience in scientific and engineering practices. A great STEM activity to include when covering the concepts of force, motion, energy or air pressure.
A 9-V battery is required for each hovercraft and is available separately.