How did the parachute move? (Why do you think it floated down?) Why did it move slowly?
How do you think the weight would drop without the parachute?
Why might people use parachutes?
What To Do
It is up to you how much of the activity you prepare beforehand, as you know your students and resources best. You may wish, for example, to pre-cut the paper into squares and hole-punch (or just mark) the corners. If possible, having extra adults to help with string-tying may be necessary, especially with a large class. If it is too much of a crunch, this may be done as a station, with students taking turns.
- Cut your paper into a square.
- Punch a hole in each corner of the square.
- Tie a piece of string to each corner.
- Tie the free ends of the strings to your washer or other weight.
- Test your parachute! Stand up tall and let it drop.
Try using different kinds of paper: newspaper, cellophane, or plastic bags are good ones to try.
If possible, drop your parachute from different heights, in the playground or at home (for example, at the top of a staircase). Before you do, however, make sure it is safe!