Your Own Flight
Fast Fall, Slow Fall

Teachers' notes

Drop a stone and a feather from the same height. The stone reaches the ground before the feather. That's because of the drag of the air.

 Illustration Illustration 

The stone falls quickly because the drag of the air is small (compared to its weight). Drag has a much greater effect on the fall of the feather. 

Two astronauts tried a similar experiment (using a hammer) on the Moon, where there is no air. What do you think they found?

Drag is a force which tries to slow down anything moving through the air. Another name for this force is air resistance. 

Challenge 1: A sheet of paper falls slowly through the air, like a feather. How can you make a sheet of paper fall more quickly? Investigate ways of making a sheet of paper fall as quickly as possible. 

Challenge 2: Stones fall quickly through the air. How can you make a stone fall more slowly? Investigate ways of making a stone fall as slowly as possible. 

What do you know? From your investigations, say what you have found out about the force called drag. 

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