Build a Parachute

consider this

For this challenge, you will design and build a parachute! The parachute should be able to fall to the ground as slow as possible while carrying a small load. What materials do you have that you could use to build your parachute? Can you make your parachute stay in the air for 5 seconds? SAFETY NOTE: Please ask an adult for help if you are dropping from tall heights. Be careful during your testing!

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


design a solution

generate an idea

How does a parachute work? What materials can you use? How can you combine/attach materials that will allow the parachute to fall slowly?

design and build a prototype

What modifications do you need to make as a result of your testing? What worked well? What needs improvement? How long can your parachute stay in the air? What height are you dropping your parachute from? Could you calculate the rate at which your parachute is falling?

share your idea

Film a short (Max 2 min video) pitch of your invention. Include details like who is it for, what problem does it solve, etc. Have fun! Upload/share your video to twitter, facebook or Instagram. Don't forget to tag us!

example solutions

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