Boomerangs. They’re coming back.

I love boomerangs. No matter how much I understand the physics behind them, there’s still something magical and artistic about them. I’ve made a few at home, but wanted to make some with kids here, and no visitor would be up for the many hours of sawing, sanding, testing, sanding, finishing, sanding, and other frustration that comes with making a wooden boomerang.

So I tried making them out of cardboard. It didn’t really work, the air friction was too much and the lifting force of the airfoil was not enough. They did, however, fly very straight into whatever wall was opposite the room.

A few days ago, I was working in the woodshop and a visitor complained about how bent most of our super jumbo popsicle sticks were. We get moments like these, when the perfect solution has been through your hands countless times and you feel dumb for not noticing. Jesse Schell calls it “The illusive obvious.” I like that.

Anyhow, the boomerangs work like a dream. Just hot glue them together and toss.

The “blade” of the boomerang needs to have a good upward curve.

Glue together the sticks

Angle of attack is important. Not to have a huge one, just to have one.

Hold the tip of the blade between your thumb and forefinger. No gorilla grip!

Throw the boomerang roughly vertically, like you were throwing a baseball.

The boomerang will make a loop toward the “top” of the blades.

Have fun!

  1. Mary Wesolek Reply

    Hi, Love your ideas, this was a problem for our group too. This is such a great learning event, science, creativity, etc.
    I did papermache with newspaper and we decorated them for an extra skill we had teams, boys vs. girls and of course the girls won! There is still one stuck in a maple tree outside the library, hope the wind blows it down. Keep up the great work. mw

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