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Parachutes: Does Shape Matter?

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by

Mathias Baglien

on 19 April 2014

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Transcript of Parachutes: Does Shape Matter?

Parachutes: Does Shape Matter?
Questions:
1. Which parachute was the most effective?
2. What evidence proved my hypothesis correct/incorrect?
3. What were the metal washers for?
4. What do you think could have made my experiment more successful?
Procedure Pt. 1
1. Gather all supplies.
2. Make a triangle, square, hexagon, octagon and a circle, all of 100 square inches of surface area, out of plastic.
3. Attach 9 pieces of thread to each parachute, along with a washer to weigh it down, as follows: circle all evenly spaced, triangle 3 at each corner, square 2 at each corner + 1 on washer, hexagon alternate between 1 and 2 on each corner, and for the octagon 1 on each corner + 1 on the washer
4. Create table for results.
Results
Materials
1 Large Plastic Trash Bag
Scissors
Sharpie
5 Identical Metal Washers
Stopwatch
25ft high location to drop parachutes from
Thank you for your interest.
If I change the shape of my parachute will it change how effective it is?
Procedure Pt. 2
5. Go to the location you have chosen for the testing.
6. Drop the circle parachute, timing how long it takes for the washer to touch the ground from the time it was dropped.
7. Record the time in your data table.
8. Repeat steps 6 and 7 for each of your parachutes.
9. Conduct 4 more trials/repeat steps 6, 7, and 8 four more times.
Conclusion
I have found that my hypothesis was correct. If I changed the shape of my parachute, then it changed how effective it was. In my experiment the circle was the most effective. However, it was not the best in all of the trials. Some factors that could have influenced the results include: wind and parachutes not opening effectively. That appeared to happen more often with the octagon.
Hypothesis
If I increase the number of sides(i.e. make it more circular),the parachute will drop more slowly.
Full transcript