This week in science, year 5 have been investigating how the force of air-resistance affects falling objects. The children were amazed by the video of Professor Brian Cox demonstrating how air-resistance acts upon a bowling ball and feather when they are dropped at the same time. In the presence of air, the feather fell more slowly as it experienced greater air-resistance than the ball. In a vacuum (the absence of air) however, both objects fell at exactly the same speed, reaching the ground at the same time. It is a recommended watch! The children were then asked to plan and carry out their own investigation, using parachutes, to identify which factors made a parachute fall more slowly. In pairs, they chose to design and make parachutes of different size or shape, or to compare how an object falls with and without a parachute. They then made predictions based on their knowledge of forces and tested their parachutes by dropping them from the top of the stairwell. Their parachutes were fantastically effective and proved most of their predictions to be correct. Using their understanding of the effects of air-resistance and their observations of the parachutes, they were able to explain how a greater force acts upon objects with a larger surface area.