Pterosaur Glider

A fun activity that allows visitors to play with pterosaur anatomy as a frame for a simple glider they will build. Visitors construct their glider with straws, cardstock as wings, tail, and crest, with a rubber band on the head to use as a launching mechanism. Visitors build and test different crest and wing shapes on their gliders using two stationary launchers, watching how well the glider’s fly through the air, making changes to improve their flights.


activity video:

Pterosaur Glider


Living Things

age range



  • Tabletop container of 5-6 staplers

  • Tabletop container of 5-6 scissors

  • Tabletop container of regular straight straws (don’t use bendable straws - 7 3/4"" Giant Wrapped Straw with Red Stripe)

  • Box of rubber bands – we use 2.5’ x 1/16”

  • 2 tabletop container of colored markers and pencils

  • 1/2 Launcher and 2/4 clamps

  • Brightly-colored card-stock with templates photo-copied on them as well as blank sheets

  • Extra straws, staples, and scissors

  • A few pre-made Pterosaur Glider examples (save good ones visitors create and leave behind)

safety issues

caution launcing with your participants who my not be aware of where the launch will be happening


Adaptation, evolution, aerodynamic, indoor, open spaces, invention, engineering, making, paleontology, structures


Science Museum of Minnesota