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Getting Started Select Design Task Learn About Design
Students Working Together : Compare Drops : Parachute Collections
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MOVIE 1:   48 seconds MOVIE 2:   40 seconds
Compare Parachute Drops

MOVIE 1 presents some pre-packaged side-by-side comparisons of distinctly different parachute designs of two pairs of students. MOVIE 2 gives you a chance to compare chutes early and late in their development. The latter lets you look for evidence of learning development (or the lack of it) in student work -- an important part of overall evaluation.

Watch especially for patterns in the ways the parachutes were designed, as well as the ways that they fall. Don't forget that rate of descent is not the whole story in parachute design. Clicking quickly on the forward or back frame-by-frame buttons (in the lower right-hand portion of the QuickTime movie screen) can help you and your students focus on Key Criteria in the chutes' descent. A key learning goal for students is developing their causal reasoning about their designs: the cause-effect relationship between key design features and product performance. By looking carefully at parachutes falling, and making drawings to show forces acting on the system, science and engineering can play a major role in explaining how and why the parachutes behave as they do.

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