On Tuesday, we had fun learning about how air resistance affects the movement of falling objects.
In groups of three, we each had a piece of paper that we had to modify to make it fall as SLOW as possible. We carefully drew our designs and labelled the changes. (eg; ripped the edges, folds, holes, cellotape, etc)
Then we dropped all 3 at the SAME time from the SAME height (to make sure it was a FAIR TEST).
We did this several times, because good scientists need to check that their testing is accurate. When we were happy that we had worked out the SLOWEST piece of paper to fall, we formed conclusions as to WHY this design worked better than the others.
After listening to all of the groups share their results and show us their best design - we came to the conclusion that the better designs were the ones that had a LARGER SURFACE AREA because this created MORE AIR RESISTANCE which slowed the falling paper.
(We also discovered, to our surprise, that it's good to put a hole in the centre of the paper - as this steadies the paper so it doesn't cut across the air and dive to the floor on an angle).
Did you know .... all parachutes have a hole in the top so it prevents the poor parachutist from swaying too much!?