Hang Time

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In this physics activity, learners will build their own parachutes out of tissue paper. They will explore the effects of weight, height, and design on the parachutes' speed and stability. This activity allows students to see first hand the interplay between the force of gravity and drag created by the large surface area of a parachute.

Quick Guide

Preparation Time:
5 to 10 minutes

Learning Time:
30 to 45 minutes

Estimated Materials Cost:
$1 - $5 per student

Age Range:
Ages 8 - 11

Resource Types:
Activity, Experiment/Lab Activity


Materials List (per student)

  • One bottle cap
  • One 12 inch square of tissue paper
  • Four 12 inch pieces of string
  • Tape
  • Magnets or clay


  • Engineering and Technology
    • Engineering
      • Aerospace Engineering
  • Physical Sciences
    • Motion and Forces
      • Gravity
      • Momentum and Velocity
      • Acceleration


To use this activity, learners need to:

  • see
  • be mobile
  • touch

Learning styles supported:

  • Involves hands-on or lab activities


Includes alignment to state and/or national standards:

Access Rights:

  • Free access



  • All rights reserved, COSI Columbus, 2009