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Air resistance demonstration

The short demonstration shows the effect of air resistance using two A4 sheets of paper (there is no narration in this video). This is a simple task to carry out. Drop two sheets of paper that are the same size, but with one screwed up into a ball and the other flat. The ball of paper hits the ground first because it has a smaller surface area, and so there is less air resistance slowing it down.

Another good way of allowing children to experience air resistance slowing them down, is to ask them to run across the playground with a giant piece of strong cardboard. Children can time someone running with and without the card and compare the two results.

They can even try to design an outfit that slows them down even further. This will help them to understand how air resistance works and begin to quantify how it may slow an object down.

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This video is from the free online course:

Teaching Primary Science: Physics

National STEM Learning Centre