Nifty Napkin Parachutes

Objects fall because they are pulled by the force of gravity towards the center of the earth.  Gravity is the force of attraction between any two objects that have a mass (weight).  Since the earth has the greatest mass of any objects around us, it exerts the strongest gravitational pull.

Parachutes are designed to maximize air resistance due to their large surface area.  This air resistance can counteract the force of gravity pulling down.  The air resistance allows your parachute to drift toward the ground slowly and safely. Modern skydiving parachutes are controlled by pulling down on steering lines which change the shape of the wing, cause it to turn, or to increase or decrease its rate of descent.  Modern skydiving parachutes are rectangular in shape – very different from the round parachutes of old. 

Can you make a simple parachute that will slow the descent of your object?  


Nifty Napkin Parachute Resources