User login

Parachute Drop

Source Institutions

    Lawrence Hall of Science

Add to listGo to activity
Parachute Drop

In this hands-on activity, learners make model parachutes out of various materials such as thin plastic, paper, or gauze. Then, learners test drop their parachutes to compare how long each material takes to land on the ground. For an online extension, learners can enter their results into a database and see how their parachutes compares with other learners. Materials listed are only suggestions - experiment to create your own unique parachute!

Quick Guide

Preparation Time:
30 to 45 minutes

Learning Time:
45 to 60 minutes

Estimated Materials Cost:
$1 - $5 per group of students

Age Range:
Ages 6 - 14

Resource Types:
Activity, Simulation


Materials List (per group of students)

  • coffee filter
  • thin plastic bag
  • wax paper
  • thin cloth
  • cheesecloth or gauze
  • 3 to 15 strings for each parachute—all the same length
  • 1 heavy paper clip or tiny toy, or 3 identical small weights of any kind


  • Physical Sciences
    • Motion and Forces
      • Gravity
      • Momentum and Velocity
  • The Nature of Technology
    • The Design Process
      • Invention and Innovation

Informal Categories

  • Toys


To use this activity, learners need to:

  • see
  • be mobile
  • touch

Learning styles supported:

  • Involves hands-on or lab activities


This resource is part of:

Access Rights:

  • Free access



  • All Rights Reserved, The Regents of the University of California, ©2009


User Lists

This resource is part of these lists: