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22 Apr

Second class has been exploring lots of different materials and their properties over the last while. As a part of this we have been looking at lots of different questions about what different materials are like.

The other week, we watched an amazing video of Felix Baumgartner as he jumped from a helium balloon in the stratosphere. You can see the video here

Ms. Fry showed us a picture that Felix Baumgartner had drawn as a little boy of himself jumping with a parachute and it really got us thinking!


We started wondering about what would make the best parachute.

We explored the idea of best- deciding that it would be the most ‘fit to purpose’ parachute by falling the slowest and keeping the person safe.

Then we each designed our own parachutes before getting in to groups to explore various materials and shapes of parachutes. We each had a little Lego man to keep safe- so this was serious business!

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One boy even designed mini parachutes for his shoes in case they fell off!

Some people chose plastic, some chose cotton, some tinfoil and others paper to make their parachutes, so they were all completely different.

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They came in all shapes and sizes too. Some of us used rulers to measure the sides to make them all the same, and some just cut free hand.

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When we were all finished, we shared what we’d made and then stopped for a few minutes to discuss what a ‘fair’ test would look like. We tried to decide between dropping them one by one by the same person and timing them, or dropping them all at the same time. In the end, we decided to go for all at once but we tried our hardest to make it a fair test by all dropping from the same height at the same time. We also dropped them five times, just in case!

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In the end we found that the slowest falling parachute was plastic, round and really big. We talked about how it being bigger meant that it caught more air so fell slower.

You can watch them fall in slow motion here 

We were so excited that we were able to make real parachutes- watch out Felix, you may have some competition in a few years time!

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