The Magnificent MOTAT Drop-Copter

BUILD TIME: 5min (approx.)


– Scissors
– A paperclip
– Felt pens, crayons or coloured pencils (optional)
– A printer
Adobe acrobat iconDrop-Copter Template

Have you ever wondered why things fall down? Well the answer to that question is gravity.

Gravity is a force that pulls objects towards one another. All objects have gravity, no matter how big or small they are. The Sun has it, the Earth has it… even you have it!

Gravity is a relatively weak force, so weak in fact that we don’t really notice it in most objects. However, the bigger an object, the more gravity it has … and the Earth is a very big object indeed. In fact the Earth is so big that its gravity is strong enough to pull everything around it, in towards it. Because we are standing on the Earth’s surface … towards the Earth means “down” and that’s why things fall!

But enough of hearing about gravity, let’s play with It instead.

Download and print the template to build your own Drop-Copter. The instructions are on the template.

When it’s finished lift it as high as you can and let it go.

What happens?

As your Drop-Copter falls, air pushes upwards against the rotor blades at the top of it. Because the blades are angled, the air also pushes it sideways causing the Drop-Copter to spin. Known as Lift, the upwards force of the air works against the force of gravity, slowing your Drop-Copter down and making it fall more slowly than it would if it were just a regular piece of paper of the same size and weight.

So there you go. You’ve just created your very own gravitational experimental device. If you’re feeling adventurous, try changing it up! Add more paper clips, change the shape and size of the rotors, or even create your own entirely unique design.

Completed this activity? We’d love to see it! Post your pics to your social media account with the hashtag #motatfun