How Do Different Materials Affect Air Resistance?
Grade: Middle School; Type: Physics
This project will examine the relationship between materials and air resistance.
- Do different types of materials affect air resistance differently?
- Which types of materials have the greatest affect on air resistance?
Air resistance is a crucial factor when designing a parachute. Discover what type of material will work best as a parachute.
- Large plastic bag
- Single hole punch
- Chair or ladder
- Another person
- Cut a square from the plastic bag and a square from the paper that is the same size as the handkerchief.
- Cut 12 six-inch pieces of string.
- Tie one piece of string to each corner of the plastic square.
- Tie one piece of string to each corner of the handkerchief.
- Punch a hole in each corner of the paper and tie a piece of string through each hole.
- Attach a ball of clay to the bottom of the plastic square, paper square and handkerchief. Use the dangling string pieces for the attachment.
- Stand on a chair or ladder.
- Drop each parachute at the same height from the elevated location.
- Have another person record the time from the moment the parachute is release until it hits the ground.
- Analyze your data to determine which parachute material dropped the fastest. Which material has more affect on air resistance? Which material would make the best parachute?
Terms/Concepts: air resistance: how is air resistance affected by different materials?
Reference: 501 Science Experiments, written by teachers, experiment number 365
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