Lesson Focus

This lesson focuses on parachute design. Teams of students construct parachutes from everyday materials. They then test their parachutes to determine whether they can transport a metal washer to a target on the ground with the slowest possible rate of descent.


Full Lesson Plan
Student Worksheets

Translated Lessons:

Age Levels:

8 – 18


  • Design and construct a parachute
  • Test and refine their designs
  • Communicate their design process and results

Anticipated Learner Outcomes

As a result of this activity, students will have:

  • Designed and constructed a parachute
  • Tested and refined their designs
  • Communicated their design process and results

Lesson Activities

Students work in teams to design and build parachutes out of everyday items. The parachutes need to be able to transport a payload of one metal washer to a target on the ground with the slowest rate of descent. Student teams review their own designs, the designs of other teams, and present their findings to the class.


  • Teacher Resource Documents (attached)
  • Student Resource Sheet (attached)
  • Student Worksheets (attached)

Alignment to Curriculum Frameworks

Curriculum alignment sheet is included in PDF.