Due to required maintenance, a shuttle service will take visitors to our rear entrance on Gateway Blvd. For the OMNIMAX® Theatre, enter through the front entrance.
For the fish:
For the helicopter:
To launch the fish, hold it gently above your head, then let it go. Watch it spin to the ground. Why does the fish spin that way?
To launch the helicopter, pinch it gently under the blades, hold it above your head and let it fall. Why does the helicopter spin the way it does?
Experiment with your launch technique. Throw it up, throw it down, let it go gently. Launch it in several different locations—try outdoors—and from different heights. Does that change way it flies?
How does it work?
Aerodynamics is the science of how objects move through air and the forces that affect their motion.
As the paper fish moves down through the air—because of gravity—the fish “tails” catch the air and get pushed over, forcing the fish to spin on its side, horizontally. Can you design a fish that spins vertically?
The helicopter blades push on the air as they descend. Because they then get slightly twisted, some of the air starts moving sideways, which forces the blade upwards, causing them to turn.
Can you figure out why the helicopter stays vertical while it spins round and round? (Hint: think about the ballast.) Can you launch it by spinning it really quickly into the air? Does that change its motion?