Build your own model London Eye

The London Eye is one of the most memorable features of the London skyline. Your task is to make a fully working model of it!

What? I thought you liked a challenge? Okay, this is one of our trickiest activities, so take a deep breath and remember to be patient with yourself. Let’s make a start


Thick card



Large dinner plate



Strong glue

Paper straws

Kebab stick or piece of dowel rod

Coins or small stones as weights


Using a large dinner plate as a template, draw two identically sized circles onto thick but flexible card. They should have a diameter of about 26 cm. Cut these out.


Measure and cut out a long strip of card. It needs to go round the circumference of the circles so it should be 5 cm wide and approximately 82 cm long. The circumference of a circle is pi (π) x diameter. Remember to add gluing flaps at regular intervals on both sides for fixing the two circles together later (see figure 1).


Decorate the outside of the two circles. Draw a central hub and use a ruler to add lines radiating out like the spokes on a bicycle wheel (see figure 2).


Decorate the long strip of card. Draw in the observation capsules at regular intervals. It’s up to you how many you draw (see figure 3).


The wheel can now be assembled. Take the long strip of card and use it to bridge the gap around the two circles. Fix it into place using a strong glue on the flaps. You have now made a short, low cylinder. Make a neat hole through the centre of the circles for the kebab stick or dowel rod.


Construct a framework to support the wheel and allow it to rotate freely. (Use the net shown in figure 4.) The dimensions are provided. The edges of the framework are strengthened with paper straws. Keeping the base flat, fold up the triangular sections so that the straws overlap at the top of the apex of the triangles. The stick or rod that goes through the centre of the wheel should rest here, allowing the wheel to spin freely. Place some coins or small stones on the base of the structure to add extra stability. We want to see your spinning wonders!

Don’t forget to send photos of your finished London Eye to the address on the AQUILAnauts’ page of the AQUILA website, and we’ll share as many as we can.

If you enjoyed this brilliant blog, then why not think about a subscription to AQUILA magazine! 

Written by John Davis

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