The year two students have been learning about different forces. Forces can make things move, stop moving or change direction. Recently, we have been learning about how air pushes on things as they move through it. This is called ‘air resistance’.
Air resistance pushes against objects to slow them down. We demonstrated how a balled up piece of paper will fall to the ground slower than a flat piece because it has less surface area and therefore less resistance from the air.
To test out this theory further we constructed paper helicopters that spin as they fall to the ground. We made one of our helicopters with shorter propellers than the other. This meant it would have less surface touching the air. Our prediction was that the helicopter with the shorter propellers would reach the ground first.
After doing many trials, we concluded that we were correct. The helicopter with the shorter propellers did fall to the ground faster. This is because it has less surface touching the air so less air is pushing against it.