This online resource gives instructions for a student activity which explores the concept of unbalanced forces through the creation of a model skydiver.
Students make a skydiver and parachute contraption to demonstrate how drag caused by air resistance slows the descent of skydivers as they travel back to Earth. Gravity pulls the skydiver toward the Earth, while the air trapped by the parachute provides an upward resisting force (drag) on the skydiver.
To design safe recreation and transportation vehicles, engineers take into account all forces acting on the object. Sometimes they use the drag force to slow down or control a moving object, for example, in designing a parachute, vehicle brakes or paper moving through a copy machine. Engineers modify their designs to make the forces of thrust, lift, weight and drag smaller or larger, which changes how the object behaves when moving through air or water.
- Year 7 > Science Understanding > Physical Sciences > Change to an object’s motion is caused by unbalanced forces, including Earth's... > ACSSU117