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Age Range: 11-14 | 14-16
Duration: 60 or more mins
  • Engineering
  • Mathematics
  • D&T

Stop it

Developing a parachute-type system to slow a landing spacecraft.

When spacecraft and jet aircraft land on the ground they are travelling very fast. Can you develop a method of reducing their speed so they can stop safely?

In this activity learners will make use of the theme of the future of flight to develop a parachute type system that will help a spacecraft to land and stop safely. They will be able to make design decisions contributing to the performance of their solution. They will then test their prototype to see how well it works.

You will need:

  • Pencils
  • A3 or A4 paper
  • Thin fabric e.g. rip stop nylon
  • Thin string or thread
  • Marker pens
  • Weights or pieces of clay
  • Scales
  • Scissors
  • Sewing needles
  • Rulers
  • Somewhere high to safely drop the parachutes when testing

And please do share your learning highlights and final creations with us on social media @IETeducation or send them via email to to be featured in our online gallery.

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