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Science progress affects our daily life and "to know" means you are going to chose right, because it allows you to form your own opinion on scientific everyday issues. On the other hand, having an elegant and harmonious vision of the world where we live in leads to a feeling of intellectual satisfaction.
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Monday, November 28, 2011

How to do a parachute toy

This is a old toy, no batteries needed, no updates or upgrades, just the plastic soldier and the plastic bag. Today we are going to see how to build a parachute and how it works.

We will need:
  • plastic square with a 40cm (about 15in) side. You can use a garbage plastic bag,
  • Scissors,
  • Ruler,
  • Pen,
  • 8 strings with 30cm (12in) length,
  • A small toy, like a plastic soldier.
How to:
  1. On each side of square measure and mark, with a pen, 4, 8 and 12in, like the image bellow;
  2. Cut off the shaded parts;
  3. With the scissors punch a hole on each corner of the plastic, like the picture, holes must be small, large holes will compromise the parachute;
  4. Attach one string to each punch you made, with a knot;
  5. Attach the other string end to the toy; the toy must have no more then 10cm (4in) height.

  6. Figure1
  7. Throw the parachute from a height place, like a balcony; remember the goal is to land the toy gently.
We hope your parachute landed gently giving an opportunity to your toy to survive.
When you throw the parachute the toy (the weight) pulls down the strings, forcing the plastic to open. Now the parachute contact surface with the air is bigger, the air resistance is also bigger and that’s why the parachute goes down slowly. The greater the air resistance the smoothly the parachute falls.

Try this with your restless:

  • Throw the parachute from different heights, keep a record of your results and variables:
    • Compare the falling times,
    • The parachute always opens?
  • Cut a small hole on center of the plastic, this will help the air to escape:
    • Does it fall faster with or without the hole?
Et Voilá!
A plastic soldier parachute


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