Young scientists fly craft in ‘Wind Tubes’


Looking for something fun and educational for kids of all ages to enjoy these school holidays, then look no further and take them to the ‘Wind Tubes’ exhibit at the Ipswich Art Gallery.

On now until September, it’s the third time the popular ‘Wind Tubes’ exhibition has popped up at the Gallery, and Children’s Program Officer Simone Reilly says kids and parents cannot get enough.

“I think we’ve got a pretty loyal following, especially over the past couple of weeks we’ve had a few people coming back and saying: ‘we came last time, our kids are older now and they love it’ so their children are now creating more experimental stuff which is cool,” Simone said.

Wind Tubes is a hands-on exhibition that challenges kids to make a flying creation out of everyday materials (think plastic, paper cups, polystyrene, ping pong balls, propellers and more) and then launch them into clear vertical tubes of moving air.

It’s a playful way to explore the effects that moving air has on propelling objects upwards, and gets children to think about things like turbulence, gravity and air resistance.

Simone said one of the most rewarding parts of the exhibition is that participating kids are having that much fun, they don’t realise they’re learning important scientific lessons.

“I think even when they’re not realising it, they’re learning because there’s such a trial and error process,” she said.

“It’s a really process driven exhibition, they’re testing in the tube and going ‘oh, why is it not flying high enough?’ and taking it back, changing the materials a little bit more.. there’s a lot of that kind of process driven stuff in this exhibition.”

Even though it’s science-based play, children of all ages can still enjoy the aesthetic creativity that comes from making their own creations.

“We’re finding kids are still making things that are aesthetically pleasing in the tubes, but they’re focusing more on the functionality – how is it spinning, what is it doing et cetera,” Simone said.

While the whole family can enjoy Wind Tubes – yes, even the toddlers have their own special space, Simone believes it’s the middle to late primary school children who gain the most benefit out of the exhibit.

“We’re finding that little kids are really enjoying the windy wall and even putting a couple of feathers in [the wind tubes] and seeing how they interact in the tube but we’re finding most middle to high primary kids are the main age group that are coming in,” she added.

Get creative with the kids and enjoy the wonderful world of Wind Tubes from 10am-5pm daily at the Ipswich Art Gallery – after all, it’s free!