The Sky is Falling

Activity Summary

Teams will have 20 minutes to design and construct a parachute that will slow the descent of a golf ball as much as possible when dropped from a pre-determined height.

Required Materials

Per Group:
  • 4 sheets of copy paper
  • 1 13 gallon trash bag
  • 10 drinking straws
  • 2 meters of string
  • 1 12 oz Styrofoam cup
For All Groups:
  • masking tape
  • golf ball
  • scissors
  • stopwatch(es) for timing
  • Long tape measure to measure launch distance
Setup Gather all materials. You will need to scout out a safe drop location. Suggestions include stairwells, off balconies, out windows on higher floors, off the back or side of bleachers, or off the edge of parking decks. The higher the better, as long as it is safe.

Standards Covered

NGSS Standard(s): 3-ETS1-2, 3-ETS1-3, 3-LS4-1, 3-PS2-1, 4-ETS1-2, 4-ETS1-3, 4-PS3-1, 5-ETS1-1, 5-ETS1-2, 5-ETS1-3, 5-PS1-1, 5-PS2-1

CCSS Standard(s): 3.MP.5, 4.MD.1, 4.MD.2, 4.MP.5, 5.MP.5, ELA, Math, W.3.10, W.3.2, W.4.10, W.4.2, W.5.10, W.5.2