Today in Science, we were investigating the effects of air resistance.
This was our challenge:
We pretended that The Super Skydiving Company were redesigning the parachute they use to allow people to perform skydives from airplanes. We had to make sure the parachute they used was perfect and allowed the customer to fall from the airplane as slowly and safely as possible.
Each group made three different parachutes using a sheet of card, string and a paperclip. We kept the paperclip and length of string the same each time (these were our controlled variables). Our independent variable (the thing we changed each time) was the size of the sheet of card. Our dependent variable- the thing which we measured- was the time it took for the parachute to reach the ground.
The perfect parachute was the one that made the person fall the slowest. We found that the parachute that had the largest sheet of card took the longest to reach the ground. We found that the parachute with the largest sheet of card reached the ground last. This was because air resistance pushed it up with the biggest force.