gator science

active adventures in lower school science

Parachute Designs for Space

on February 26, 2014

Students in fourth grade have been working like engineers designing a parachute that will land on a planet with a very thin atmosphere.  The class discussed the difference between the forces of drag and gravity.   We tested different materials to find that drag can influence the speed an object has as it drops to the ground.  We tested 3 different variables today in class – canopy material, length of string suspension, and size of the canopy.   We recorded the data after taking at least four trials for each variable.   With this information, students will now design their own parachute for a specific mission.   Students want to choose the variables that travel the slowest and have the most drag.  We look forward to learning more about our parachute designs.

This project was from an Engineering is Elementary Kit which was developed by the Boston Museum of Science

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