gator science

active adventures in lower school science

Designing the SLOWEST Parachute

on April 11, 2014

In fourth grade science the last few weeks, students have taken the parachute challenge.  Students designed a parachute that would land successfully on a planet with a thin atmosphere.  (that would be planets like Mercury, Mars, and Pluto)  Through experimentation, students learned that a larger canopy, plastic canopy, and longer string length increased drag to help the parachute travel slower to the ground.  They designed their own parachute considering the three variables and calculated the average speed of the drop in feet/sec using a stop watch.  I challenged the students to improve their design by adjusting the variables to make a second improved parachute.   After testing, many students improved their times and learned the process of engineering.  Our slowest parachute fell a peaceful 1.9 feet per second.   All students were successful aeronautical engineers.

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One response to “Designing the SLOWEST Parachute

  1. You actually make it appear so easy together with your presentation however I in finding
    this topic to be really one thing that I believe I’d by no means understand.
    It kind of feels too complex and very large for me.

    I’m taking a look forward in your subsequent put up,
    I will try to get the grasp of it!

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