This project was created by Ichiamsa Yagi, who is a professor of the Iwate University Department of Education in Japan. He is also the CEO of EWI (Experimental Workshop Iwate). His company develops the teaching equipment that will encourage the growth of science in schools and universities thoughtout the world.

Use ABS pipe and a leaf blower to make a powerful shooting machine. We used regular ping pong balls and 1½” styrofoam balls to show the vortex effect and how the shape of the ball makes the ball come out at different speeds.

We can use different sizes of pipes and various balls to get different results.

Project Steps

Materials needed:

1½” x 5 foot ABS pipe; 1½” ABS tee; Regulation-size ping pong balls; 1½” styrofoam balls

Tools needed:

Mini hacksaw with thin blade; masking tape; sandpaper; ruler

Wrap masking tape around the pipe so that you can clearly mark your cuts.

Cut one piece of ABS pipe 8 inches long.

Cut one piece of ABS pipe 12 inches long.

Cut one piece of ABS pipe 4 inches long.

Use sandpaper to smooth the edges.

Put the 4-inch and 8-inch pipe into opposite ends of the tee as shown.

Put the 12-inch pipe into the side port of the tee.

Connect the air blower into the 4-inch side of the T and turn it on.

The ping pong balls will come out of the shooter hard and fast so be sure that you are aiming it in a safe direction.

Loosely hold the ping pong balls beneath the upright and feed them into the pipe. The balls should be sucked up because of the partial vacuum created.