Build a Parachute
Build a Parachute
Build a Parachute
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Activity Summary

In this activity, students will use the engineering design process to build and test a parachute.

Discover: Learn about parachutes, the forces (lift and gravity) that act on them, and the properties of air and wind.

Define: Understand and develop design criteria, based off of previous research.

Develop: Collaborate to create a plan, sketches, and testable prototype of a parachute.

Deliver: Test and iterate on parachute designs, in order to create a final model.

Curious about our 4D (Discover, Define, Develop, Deliver) model for technology and engineering design? Read about why we selected this framework and how it can be implemented in your classroom!
Learn about the 4D model

Key Terms

load: (noun) anything put in or on something for conveyance or transportation

drag: (verb) pull along forcefully or with difficulty

lift: (verb) to raise to a higher position or level

gravity: (noun) invisible force that pulls objects toward each other

Learning Goals

3.2.3.A Make and communicate observations and/or measurements of an object’s motion to provide evidence that a pattern can be used to predict future motion.

3.2.3.B Plan and conduct an investigation to provide evidence of the effects of balanced and unbalanced forces on the motion of an object.

3.5.3-5.M Demonstrate essential skills of the engineering design process.

3.5.3-5.O Describe requirements of designing or making a product or system.

3.5.3-5.R Apply tools, techniques, and materials in a safe manner as part of the design process.

3.5.3-5.U Evaluate designs based on criteria, constraints, and standards.

3.5.3-5.V Interpret how good design improves the human condition.

Does your school use Next Generation Science Standards? Use the following codes instead of the Pennsylvania Integrated STEELS Standards listed above. 3-5-PS2-1, 3-5-PS2-2, 3-5-ETS1-1, 3-5-ETS1-2, 3-5-ETS1-3

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