Jack and the Beanstalk, STEAM Style

We all know the story about Jack and the Beanstalk… but did you know that Jack had to find a quicker way to get back home from the Giant’s house in the sky? Using Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Maths (STEAM), we are going to take you on a journey of the process we took to solve Jack’s problem.

Our problem…

How, oh how, can we help Jack (AKA a Lego man) get back home QUICKLY?

We Imagined

We brainstormed ideas to solve this problem. A parachute may solve our problem! Our class viewed people carrying out death-defying stunts using parachutes. We discovered the science of parachutes, learning that when a parachute is being used, air resistance and gravity are working at the same time. Air resistance increases when the parachute is opened and this is what causes the parachute to slow its descent to Earth. Could we build Jack a parachute? What kind of parachute could we build? What does a parachute need? What materials do we have?

We Planned, Designed and Built

Jack, our Lego man, was first going to fall from the balcony without a parachute. This was our “control” drop. The parachutes we designed had to make sure that Jack took longer than this to land when he wore our amazing parachutes. Using plastic, wire, string, sticky tape, Blu Tack and many other items, we set about making the parachute. Check out the photos of us doing this!

We Tested

Outside on the verandah, Jack was dropped many times, wearing many different parachutes! Amazingly, every group managed to design and make a parachute that did indeed slow Jack’s fall to Earth.

Now we are in the process of discussing and modifying our designs to see if there are ways to improve our creations. This problem is the first of many we will aim to solve this year. Sometimes there will be disasters, solutions that fail and problems we encounter. However, we will be building resilience, problem solving, using creativity, listening to our team members, trying new materials and developing and discovering new skills along the way!

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