Lesson #3: Slow and Steady Wins the Race
In Lesson 3, students begin the Engineering Design Process as they "Ask" questions about how parachutes work. Students watch a demonstration that uses models to show how the thickness of an atmosphere affects how quickly or slowly objects fall through that atmosphere. Students then perform a controlled experiment examining how changes in a parachute's canopy material, canopy size, or suspension line length affect how quickly or slowly it falls. As a class, students analyze the data to determine the properties of a parachute that will slow a falling load the most.