Stem at home


In this unit you will make and test parachutes. Parachutes come in all different shapes and sizes. However almost all have these parts:

  • We begin with the canopy. This is the top part of the parachute that catches the air as the parachute and its load (in the picture, the “load” is a person) go down. In real life, canopies are made of special light-weight synthetic materials. We will used everyday materials like handkerchiefs, plastic bags or newspapers.
  • Cords connect the canopy to whatever load is being lowered by the parachute. Our “cords” will be made of string, plastic strips, paper strips, whatever works.
  • Our loads will be of different weights and materials. You could use anything from action figures to containers to nuts and bolts. We use Legos and bull dog fasteners because it’s easy to change the amount of weight.

Materials for Large Toy

In what follows are some ideas for materials to use for canopies, cords and loads, and for connecting these parts. But remember, these are just a few of the many materials you could use. Don’t be limited by them. Be Creative!