Curious Kids and Everyday Acts of Science

Curious Kids and Everyday Acts of Science

Act no.1: Taking Flight with the Second Graders!
This unit the second graders are learning about air and weather. They are performing exciting experiments in their classes. A few weeks back they focused on the properties of air. Particularly, they studied how air takes up space and that compressed air pushes with useable pressure. During this unit the students made their own parachutes and tested their flight patterns by attaching different weights to them. They really enjoyed the lesson, and the fun can continue at home! In class the students used dinner napkins for the body of the parachute and paper clips for the weight. They unfolded the napkins and used the large square for the body of the chute.

What if they change the material for the parachute’s body to another material (i.e. a piece of paper, different sized napkins, piece of cloth)? They can check how different materials impact flight patterns. They can also change the weight attached to the parachute to see how varying weights impact flight patterns. Instead of a paper clip, they can attach coins, small rocks, or a bunch of paper clips. By varying both the materials used for the parachute and the weights attached, kids can truly test different flight patterns and air time.
Things you can test for:
            How do different materials impact a parachute’s air time?
            Does the weight or shape of the materials used change the flight patterns?
            Do different weights help or hinder a parachute’s suspension in the air?
Materials Needed:
String (to attached to four corners of parachute, string also serves as )
Stickers (to hold the string to the parachute)
Material for the body of the parachute (this should varying – experiment time)
A weight (this should vary too)
Try it out! See what happens when you change the chute material and/or the weights!
Lets take flight!
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