Pumpkin Parachutes

Happy Halloween Scientists! What is better on Halloween then doing a Pumpkin Investigation? My little scientist and I made parachutes for pumpkins then My husband climbed up the ladder to drop them. Amazingly NONE of our pumpkins broke even when we let one go without a parachute. Our parachute free pumpkin did make a super loud bang when it hit the ground though.

 

Materials Needed

Mini Pumpkins

Various Bags, Types of Paper, Cups or Any Craft Material You’d Like

Scissors (Safety Scissors if your little scientists is using them)

String (We used fishing line, but you could you any type you’d like)

Hole Punch

Ladder or High Window

Optional but Recommended: Timer, Stop Watch, or Video Capability for recording pumpkin drop

Optional: Tape or Glue

Investigation

  1. Tell your little scientist that you will be making parachutes to help get a pumpkin down to the ground safely. Experiment dropping different materials to see what might help slow it down best.
  2. Brainstorm ideas on how to make your parachutes.
  3. Build your parachutes
  4. Have an adult that is not afraid of heights and safely able to do so climb a ladder to drop your pumpkin parachutes OR drop your pumpkin parachutes from a high window or balcony. **PLEASE USE CAUTION, KEEP AREA CLEAR, DO NOT LET YOUR CHILD CLIMB THE LADDER, ONLY USE A LADDER IF SAFELY ABLE TO DO SO, DO NOT ATTEMPT IF WET OR RAINING, FOLLOW ALL WARNINGS AND GUIDELINES FOR YOUR LADDER**
  5. Enjoy the show with your little scientist 🙂

 

Talking Points

In this investigation your little scientist is being an Engineer, a person that designs or builds things to solve a problem. Objects fall down because of gravity, the pull of Earth on objects.  Your little scientist designed a parachute, an object that slows down the pull of gravity. Drag is the force that is causing the parachute to slow down. The greater the drag the slower the fall down.

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