Instructables
Picture of LED Parachute a la CMH
Create an unidentified floating object! This is a great activity not only on simple circuits, but also on air resistance/drag and aerodynamics. Also easily folds up into the pocket like the parachute people toys, only a lot easier to find at night!

This is one of the projects for our Instructables: Made In Your Mind (IMIYM) exhibition at the Children’s Museum of Houston . Produced in partnership with Instructables, IMIYM is an exhibit where families work together to build different fun, toy-like projects that help construct knowledge and skills related to science, technology, engineering, and mathematics while instilling a “do-it-yourself” attitude in kids so they feel empowered to explore, tinker, and try to make things themselves. To learn more, check out the article here.

For this project, we were inspired by the LED Parachuties Instructable created by Artificial Intelligence, but there may be others on Instructables that are also similar. Often, the materials and process for building our projects are designed for use with a large number of visitors (we see over 800,000 annually) and the need to ensure safety in a mostly non-facilitated environment. So, yes, many of these projects have room for improvement in both materials and methodology, which is PRECISELY what we want to encourage the kids to do. So please do share your ideas for improvement and modifications!

 
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Step 1: What You Need:

Picture of What You Need:
  • 1 - CR2032 Coin battery – we get these in bulk from Batteries and Butter
  • 1 – 10mm LED – we get these in bulk from Leading LEDs
  • 1 – 20” x 20” Sheet of Tissue Paper – available at your local craft/hobby shop (you can also cut down larger paper to a square - at least 20" is recommended)
  • 48 inches - String
  • Scissors
  • Masking Tape
  • Ruler
  • Pencil
  • Hole punch
We are selective in our materials for cost, ease of use, and safety due to our high traffic (800,000 visitors annually). So, for our purposes, this design worked best. But you may have other ideas - please share!