For this experiment, I and my partner decided to find out how different mass can alternate the average speed of the parachute. We did this by changing the mass of each parachute and dropping it at a certain height. Our Independent variable is the mass and our dependent variable is the time and speed of the parachute. Our controlled variable is everything else, like the humidity, the wind speed, the degree, the distance, the length of string, the place we drop the parachute etc.Hypothesis: Our hypothesis is that, the heavier the parachute the faster the speed/ terminal velocityOur method:1) First we collected all our equipment’s. This includes: 5 zip lock bags, a long piece of string, 5 plastic bags of the same size and scissors.2) We add sand to 5 zip lock bags, to a certain mass. For example: 5g, 30g, 15g etc.
and we left one empty3) Then we cut the long piece of string into 5 equal parts, using a ruler to measure4) After that we made a hole in each zip lock bag with a scissor, this is for the string to get through the zip lock bag.5) After that we put the string through the hole of each zip lock bag and through the holes of the plastic bag , and securing it with a knot6) We then went to the second floor and one of us went down to the first floor to time7) The person on the 2nd floor then dropped the parachute in the count of three and the timer will start timing it.8) We did step 7 twice for each parachute, to make the results more accurate.Our results:Mass(g)Time (seconds)Average TimeAverage Speed1st test2nd test(1dp) m/second06.
5252.132.562.353.2As you can see from the table above the more mass the faster the speed is. This means our hypothesis was right.
The reason behind this is because heavier object tend to take longer to balance and reach its terminal velocity (constant speed), this means heavier objects tend to accelerate longer then light object, making the speed of heavier objects faster. However there is one weird result, which is the 2nd last result, the one with 20g.There can be several errors in my parachute experiment. There are lots of factors that cannot be controlled, like the weather, the wind speed, which way the wind was blowing. This may’ve caused the weird results because the wind doesn’t blow steadily and at one certain time. Also the time we drop each parachute was different, and the wind may’ve been stronger or lighter.
The direction wind may’ve also caused the parachute to take longer to land; also the parachute may’ve hit an object due to the wind. The humidity may’ve affected the experiment, but the affect won’t be very significant. Another error that may’ve caused weird results is the mass of each parachute. There might’ve been both technical and human erros.The human errors in measuring the mass, is it will take way too long to get the exact answer and sometimes the mass is just roundabout. We did this because it was very difficult to be exact, if measured it to its exact weight it would take ages. However we can improve this by making it as close as possible or have packets that have the exact amount of sand we want.
The mass that weighs the sand may not be totally correct as well. There may’ve been some technical problems that we won’t know about. Not every single machine is perfect.A very obvious human error will be that the person that was timing may not have pressed the start button exactly when the other person was dropping it.
This error is extremely hard to improve, we tried to make it as accurate as possible by keeping the same person timing and dropping. We also shouted 3, 2, 1 and we would either drop or press the start button. A way to improve this is by doing more tests.Overall I think our experiment was pretty successful, although there were some weird results. We did our best to make this a fair experiment as mentioned above and we could’ve improved quite a lot of factors. If I could’ve done this experiment again, I would find a day that has hardly any wind and a place where there aren’t objects in the way.