Dropping Some Scientific Knowledge

Dropping Some Scientific Knowledge at Wantagh Middle School

Parachutes were falling at Wantagh Middle School on Nov. 1 as seventh graders explored the principles of aerodynamics. 

As the culminating activity in the forces and interactions unit, students in Ashley Azzata’s and Elyse Longo’s science classes built parachutes. They were made in different sizes – five inches, seven inches and eight inches, so students could see and understand the effects of air resistance.

The young scientists worked in groups to build the relatively simple devices, using cardstock, a clothespin, string and tape. Then, it was launch time! Getting as close to the ceiling as they could, students dropped the parachutes while others timed the descent. After gathering data, they then looked to see which size was most affected by air resistance and took the longest to fall, and compared the results against their predictions.