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Parachute Drop


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Subjects
  • Arts & Humanities
    Language Arts
  • Mathematics
  • Science

Grades

1-3

Brief Description

Students experiment with gravity as they follow directions to create parachutes that will carry paperclip passengers safely to the ground.

Objectives

Students
  • discuss how wind affects the environment and our lives
  • follow directions to create a parachute
  • make predictions about the effect of adding weight to the bottom of the parachute
  • record and interpret the results of parachute experiments.

Keywords

following directions, parachute

Materials Needed[shopmaterials]

  • Gilberto and the Wind, by Marie Hall Ets
  • rulers
  • scissors
  • chart paper
  • markers
  • a stopwatch or other timing device, preferably several

For each student's parachute, you will need

  • one dinner-sized paper napkin
  • string (160 cm long)
  • five small stickers
  • five large paper clips

Lesson Plan

Parachute Drop is a unique lesson that is introduced with the story of Gilberto and the Wind, by Marie Hall Ets. After students discuss the wind and its effects, they move on to the topic of parachutes. They then build parachutes out of napkins, string, and paperclips. The students gradually add more paper clips and make assumptions about how the increased mass will affect the flight of their parachutes. They time their flights and discuss their findings.

Resources
Parachute Drop: Grades 1-2
Parachute Drop: Grades 2-3

Assessment

Evaluate students on their ability to follow directions, measure, and record data.

Lesson Plan Source

Great Lakes Region Aerospace Education

National Standards

LANGUAGE ARTS: English

MATHEMATICS: Measurement
  • GRADES Pre-K - 2
    NM-MEA.PK-2.2 Apply Appropriate Techniques, Tools, and Formulas to Determine Measurements

    GRADES 3 - 5
    NM-MEA.3-5.2 Apply Appropriate Techniques, Tools, and Formulas to Determine Measurements

MATHEMATICS: Data Analysis and Probability
  • GRADES Pre-K - 2
    NM-DATA.PK-2.1 Formulate Questions That Can Be Addressed With Data and Collect, Organize, and Display Relevant Data to Answer
    NM-DATA.PK-2.2 Select and Use Appropriate Statistical Methods to Analyze Data
    NM-DATA.PK-2.3 Develop and Evaluate Inferences and Predictions That Are Based on Data

    GRADES 3 - 5
    NM-DATA.3-5.1 Formulate Questions That Can Be Addressed With Data and Collect, Organize, and Display Relevant Data to Answer
    NM-DATA.3-5.2 Select and Use Appropriate Statistical Methods to Analyze Data
    NM-DATA.3-5.3 Develop and Evaluate Inferences and Predictions That Are Based on Data

SCIENCE
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Originally published 8/16/2002
Last updated 10/14/2010

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