Ms Griffin’s second class designed their own parachutes, exploring different materials and their properties.
The boys watched a cool video of Felix Baumgartner as he jumped from a helium balloon in the stratosphere. You can see the video here http://www.redbullstratos.com/
Inspired by this, the boys worked in pairs and discussed what materials would work best for their parachutes to fall slowly and safely. Different materials were chosen by different groups such as plastic, cotton, tinfoil and paper. They came in all shapes and sizes too. Some of the groups used rulers to measure the sides to make them all the same, and some just cut free hand.
Once finished, 2nd class shared their creations with the class and then discussed what a ‘fair’ test would look like. They tried to decide between dropping them one by one by the same person and timing them, or dropping them all at the same time. In the end, they decided to go for all at once, trying their hardest to make it a fair test by all dropping from the same height at the same time. The boys did this a few times, just in case!
In the end the boys found that the slowest falling parachute was plastic, round and really big. They learned that the bigger the parachute was the more air it caught to fall slower.