Making Parachutes

Date: 8th Jun 2018 @ 8:19am

This week, we have been busy in our science lessons! Our current topic is Forces (to fit in with our topic, 'Disasters'). In previous lessons, we have looked at gravity and we measured the weight and mass of objects using scales and Newton metres.

Image result for newton metre

This week, however, we decided to look into air resistance. We found out that there is no air on the moon! We watched an amazing video of an astronaut dropping a feather and a hammer on the ground. Can you guess what happened? The feather and the hammer both hit the ground at exactly the same time! This was because there was no air, so there was no air resistance acting on the feather to slow its descent down. 

Image result for featherImage result for hammer

                                             Image result for astronaut

After watching this video, we were given an important mission: we had the responsibility of helping a company produce air resistant parachutes. In order to find out what makes a good parachute, of course we had to do a little test! We made parachutes using different materials (fabric, paper, card, plastic, etc) and tested them all fairly. We knew that, in order for our test to be fair, we had to control specific variables: we used the same height to drop each parachute from, we used the same timer and the same person controlling the timer (Miss Barnes). We kept the length of the strings on our parachute the same, and we kept the same weight at the bottom of the parachute.

As well as having lots of fun doing this (and making lots of excited noises!) we learnt that air resistance is only one factor of an effective parachute; some of us had better falling times using paper or card, but we discussed these results and explained that really, a parachute could not be made from these materials as they were not water resistant, easy to collapse and expand and they were not practical. 

Image result for parachute

St Mary's Birchley Catholic Primary School

Birchley Road, Billinge, Nr Wigan,

Lancashire WN5 7QJ

Main Contact: Mrs Janet Ollerton

SENDCO Contact: Mrs Andrea Hymers

Tel: 01744 678610