This is a fun experiment to do with your child. Let them choose their favourite Lego minifigure (or similar) and marvel as it floats to the ground.
– A plastic bag or light material
– A small object to act as the weight (i.e. a little action figure)
1. Cut out a large square from your plastic bag or material.
2. Trim the edges so it looks like an octagon (an eight sided shape).
3. Cut a small hole near the edge of each side.
4. Attach 8 pieces of string the same length to each of the holes.
5. Tie the pieces of string to the object you are using as a weight.
6. Use a chair or find a high spot to drop your parachute and test how well it worked. Remember that you want it to drop as slowly as possible.
When you let go of your parachute, the weight pulls down on the strings and opens up a large surface area of material. Air resistance slows down its descent. The larger the surface area, the more air resistance and the slower the parachute will drop.
NOTE: If you cut a small hole in the middle of the parachute, air will pass slowly through it which should help the parachute fall straighter.