Academic Year 5

Year 5s create and test their own parachutes.

In Science lessons, Year 5s have been learning about air resistance. Taking a parachute as a perfect example of how the force of air resistance affects a moving object, Mrs Hall asked students to develop their own parachutes.   

In advance of the exercise, she instructed them to consider a number of design elements. What type of material would be best to use for their canopy? What sort of object could they attach to it? How about the size and shape?

Once they had assembled a variety of parachutes, the girls predicted which might fall the slowest and then put them to the test by launching them from the top of the Central Hall stairs.

With stopwatches, they timed each parachute’s rate of descent and recorded the results. Straightaway, the class noticed that circles are a very good shape and structure for a sail and that larger canopies take longest to fall because they make the most use of air resistance.






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