Parachutes fall slowly because air is trapped beneath drag. Drag is the force that works against the direction of anything that flies through the air. The amount of drag depends on the shape. A fat, lumpy shape, like the parachute in the first project, has lots of drag and falls slowly.
Hot air balloons rise into the air, because the hot air inside them is lighter than the air outside. Real balloons use gas burners, but the project here uses a hair dryer to make the balloon rise.
YOU WILL NEED
Felt-tipped pen, a large plate, thin fabric, scissors, needle, thread, tape, plastic thread reel.
Use the felt-tipped pen to draw around the plate on the fabric. Using the scissors carefully cut out the circle to make what will be the parachute’s canopy.
Make about eight equally spaced marks around the edge of the circle. Use a needle to sew on one 12in-long piece of thread to each point you have marked.
Use tape to secure the free end of each thread to a reel. Use a plastic reel, because a wooden one will be too heavy for your parachute.
Hold the parachute so that the canopy is open and the thread reel dangles down. Stand by an upstairs window, or use a step-ladder to get as high as you can – but be very careful!
YOU WILL NEED
Pencil, card, ruler, scissors, sheets of tissue paper, glue stick, hair dryer.
To make a template, draw a petal shape on card and carefully cut it out. The shape should be 12in long and 4 ½in across with a flat bottom edge.
Draw around your template on seven pieces of colored tissue paper. Be very careful not to rip the tissue paper with the tip of your pencil.
Use the pair of scissors to carefully cut out the shapes you have drawn. You should now have seven petals that are all the same size and shape.
Glue along one edge of a petal. Lay another petal on top, and press it down. Open it out and stick on another petal in the same way. Keep going until the balloon is complete.
To fly your balloon, hold its neck open and fill the inside with hot air from a hair dryer. After ten seconds, switch off the hair dryer and let go of your balloon to launch it into the air.
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