Fourth grade students at Elm Grove Elementary School recently finished their study of the beloved children’s novel Charlotte’s Web, by E. B. White. For a final activity, students of Sharon Ramsey and Katie Wheeler ventured into the world of aeronautics, the science or practice of travel through the air, by participating in a parachute design challenge to replicate the scene near the end of the novel when Charlotte’s baby spiders produce silk balloons to float away.
Working in small groups, the students used the design process to design and create parachutes for baby spiders made from small pom poms and pipe cleaners. Adhering to budget and time constraints, students worked as artists, mathematicians and materials managers to design and construct their parachutes. They used estimation skills to guess how many seconds it would take their parachutes to land in a target and prediction skills to guess whether or not their parachute would hit the target. Students had the opportunity to test their prototypes and then revise their creations based on the results of the test drop.
For the final drop, Elm Grove principal Rick Dunlevy stood on the roof of the school Friday and dropped the individual parachutes toward a basket on the ground while the eager students timed their parachutes’ drop and measured how far from the target it landed. Afterwards, the students reflected on their experience and some of their key takeaways from it.
Today’s Spider Drop will be featured tonight on WTRF7!!!