Scarf Shooter

At this exhibit, you can explore what happens when lightweight objects such as scarves or balls are placed in coiled tubes that have air flowing through them. On the wall, there are clear, blue-ribbed tubes that are twisted between a grid of grey metal poles.

At both the bottom left and bottom right of the exhibit grid, there are large pink rectangular panels, which both have a round, turquoise box and a small square wooden box attached to the front.

At the front of each wooden box is a circular hole with a soft, clear plastic covering – these are the two entry holes for the exhibit objects.

There are two pentagonal gates (or switches) with clear plastic fronts and a black paddle inside. These can be operated by turning the silver handles on the front of them.

To start your experiment, select either a scarf or a plastic ball from the wooden trough at the bottom of the exhibit, and put it into one of the two entry holes.

At the entry holes there are automatic sensors – when you place your hand close to the entry, the fan will start.

Can you predict which of the four exit holes it might come out of?

Sensory Guidance & Advice

The fans can be quite noisy, and if the soft plastic cover of the entry hole is pushed outwards, rather than being tucked in, then the air will blow out towards you rather than through the tubes.

Scarf shooter accessible description


Audio instructions





Visual Instructions




Extra Challenges


  • Why might objects might travel through the tubes in different ways?
  • How many different things can you get to happen?
  • Can you make an object come out of all four exit holes?