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Santa’s Parachutes (Science for Christmas)

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      Ian Wilsoni.wilson


      Santa is very busy this year. With the ever increasing number of presents to deliver he is working on a new way to get the presents from his sleigh to their correct place under the Christmas Trees. Instead of stopping the sleigh and going down the chimneys he is looking to ‘drop’ the presents via a parachute from his sleigh. In order or to this effectively he will need to drop about eight presents in a ‘present box’. The present box will have to fall safely and accurately to the chimney/house and land, without losing any presents on the correct room – as close to the Christmas Tree as possible

      Working scientifically

      In order for this to be a fair test – the present box is pre-prepared – just needing cutting out and sticking together. This ensure that same size box for all the tests as well as being the correct size for eight ping pong balls (presents) to be fitted inside. The box can, of course, be directed to keep in the Christmas feel of things. The children can then decide on the type of parachutes or the number of parachutes as long as they fasten them the box – easily done by using a hole punch to make holes in the present box. The present box will be dropped from the same height in each test. As well as reaching to ground safely with all the presents still inside – a paper target can be created. This will represent the tree (inner circle) the room (middle circle) and the house (outer circle). Due to my poor drawing skills I used rectangles instead of circles. Using mobile technology will allow the children to film the descent of the present boxes and allow the accurate recording of the ‘successful’ parachutes. This also allows you to watch all the attempts at a later date!

      Of course the proof of the pudding is in the tasting so I completed the activity with the primary education science groups…so here is the video of their results….enjoy!

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