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Parachute Project

Details

Space: 
inside
outside
Time: 
1-2 hours
Subject: 
English
Math
Science
Grades: 
4th Grade
5th Grade
6th Grade
7th
8th
9th
10th
11th
12th
Key Terms: 
Pi
C= π*d = 2*π*r
circumference
drag
measurement
inches/meters
lever
Materials: 
Plastic trash bags
tape
string (GoPro optional)

Lesson Overview

Teacher Overview:

You will build a parachute for a GoPro camera and launch it into the air to see if you can have it land softly.  You will build it using a garbage bag, string, duct tape, ruler and marker. You will use the following formula for pi, C= π*d = 2*π*r to make your parachute.  Watch the following video provided to you by your teacher.   The video will help you learn how to make your own parachute.

Student Summary: 

Your group is going to build a parachute out of a plastic garbage bag, string, tape and hot glue.  If you have a GoPro, you will secure it to the parachute and launch or drop the parachute from a high spot like bleachers or second story window.  Your group will need to calculate the diameter and circumference of the parachute using the circumference formula.

Lesson Phases

Plan

What is the circumference of your parachute?
How many strings/cords are you going to put on your parachute?
Description: 
Get all of your supplies and come up with a plan on who is building what in your group. In order to build a parachute, you need a plan to determine the circumference of the parachute.

Build

How did you make the eight points for the cord equally distant from each other?
Description: 
The circumference formula is C=Pie x Diameter. You will use a meter stick to measure the diameter. You then need to mark 8 equally distant points to attach the parachute cords with hot glue.

Iterate

What iterations did you make to your parachute?
How tight did you roll up your cord?
Description: 
Go outside and test your parachute. You will experience some failure. You might realize that you rolled up your parachute too tight. The second attempt will hopefully be better.

Final Product

Did you have success?
How did you rate success?
Description: 
Go outside and and launch your parachute from the top of a slide, bleachers or 2nd story window and see how well your parachute works.

Student Video

Teacher Resources

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