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Parachutes: Does Size Matter?

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Brett Owen

on 1 December 2010

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Transcript of Parachutes: Does Size Matter?

Parachutes: Does Size Matter? Experiment Question - Do bigger parachutes work better than smaller parachutes? Independent Variable Size of the parachute. Dependent Variable The time it takes for the parachute to reach the ground Constants garbage bags
twist ties
stopwatch Hypothesis When the size of the parachute increases, the parachute will take a longer time to reach the ground, making it better. Materials heavy weight garbage bags
metric ruler
twist ties
light weight string
stopwatch Procedures 1. First cut open the garbage bags to make a flat sheet of plastic. 2. You will make a series of parachutes of different sizes, from large to small. Each parachute will be square in shape, so the four sides will each be of the same length. Sizes - 20 cm, 30 cm, 40 cm, and 50 cm. 3. Cut out the four differently sized parachutes from the garbage bag material. 4. Tie a knot in each of the four corners of your square. The knots will be used to anchor your string. 5. Cut out four pieces of string for each parachute. Each piece of string should be 40 cm long. 6. Tie one end of string around one of the four knots, positioning the string right above the knot. 7. Hold the center of the plastic sheet in one hand and pull all strings with the other to collect them. Tie the free end of the strings together with an overhand knot. 8. Attach 4 washers to the bundle of strings with a twist tie. Be sure that each parachute has the same number of washers attached, or this will alter your results. 9. Bring a stopwatch and the parachutes to a safe, high surface for your tests, about 2 meters from the ground. A good place for your tests might be a secure balcony, deck or playground platform. 10. Using a stopwatch, time how long it takes in seconds for each parachute to fall to the ground. If the parachute does not open during a trial, just do that trial over so that when you are finished you have three trials which all worked. Test each parachute three times, and make an average of your data. Calculate the average by adding together your three times, and then dividing your answer by three. You can also increase the number of trials to above three to get better data and organize your date table accordingly. You should keep your data in a table. Data table

Size (cm) Trial 1 Trial 2 Trial 3 Trial 4 Average

20 cm 0.75 sec. 0.81 sec. 0.72 sec. 0.65 sec. 0.73 sec.

30 cm 0.87 sec. 0.93 sec. 0.87 sec. 1.00 sec. 0.92 sec.

40 cm 1.10 sec. 1.25 sec. 1.16 sec. 1.22 sec. 1.18 sec.

50 cm 1.31 sec. 1.41 sec. 1.44 sec. 1.28 sec. 1.36 sec. Conclusion My hypothesis was that the bigger the parachute was, the more time it would take for it to reach the ground. My results do support my hypothesis. The smallest parachute took 0.75, 0.81, 0.72, and 0.65 seconds, and the biggest took 1.31, 1.41, 1.44, and 1.28 seconds. As the size increases, the numbers go up.
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