Wind Racers

Wind racers is a fun activity that helps visitors play with moving air and transform it into doing work. Using sails and small-wheeled carts, they explore how wind can be used to move a boat or in this case a cart or a wind racer. Visitors construct a wind racer using paper for sails, dowels, and small-wheeled carts. There is a smooth raceway path with a fan blowing from one end of it on which the visitors will race their creations or see how far they can make it.



Engineering and Invention

age range



  • 6-8 Wind carts with holes drilled on top to fit the dowels

  • ¼” Dowels in a range of lengths to be used as masts

  • Assorted brightly colored paper cut from 8 ½ “ x 11” sheets (5 ½ x 8 ½ “, 4 ½ “ x 5 ½ “)

  • Aluminum foil sheets 4” x4” to 6”x6”

  • Thick, brightly colored yarn pieces 4-6” (for tying sails)

  • ½ “to ¾” binder clips (these help to clip on yarn or aluminum foil)

  • Child scissors

  • Hole punchers

  • Information binder with supplemental sail documents

  • Fan

  • Raceway (folded in sections) Textured plastic sheeting provides a non slip smooth surface for carts rolling (optional)

  • Wind Racers tabletop sign (optional)

  • Red gaffers tape – only to be used to tape raceway down (not a construction material) (optional)

safety issues


Paper Magic, Origami, Mathematics, Origami, geometry, folding, algorithm, arts and crafts, aerodynamics


Science Museum of Minnesota