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Summer Science Challenge to Try at Home

This article appeared in the June 22, 2018 edition of the Davis Enterprise.

Summer Science Challenge to Try at Home

Explorit visitors build and test parachutes. Photo by Explorit Science Center.


By Lisa Justice

Special to the Enterprise


Next week eager summer science campers will descend on Explorit to begin a week of investigation and exploration. Challenge Busters camp will invite campers to use science to solve real-world problems and challenges.


Need to build a bridge that spans a certain distance and can hold a certain weight? Practice structural engineering! Need to identify a white powdery substance? Try some chemistry!


And you can play along at home. Try this simple science challenge with your family and see where science can take you.


Try making a device that will defy gravity. What happens when you drop something? It falls to the ground. But what if you could slow down its fall? Try building a parachute for a small item like a plastic toy or rock, and see how slowly and gently you can get it to fall.


You will need: some scratch paper, scissors, tape, a hole punch, string and a small plastic toy or a rock. You may also want to add fabric scraps, coffee filters, small paper cups or other household items.


Use these supplies to build the parachute. You may also want to make a little basket for your item to travel in. Test your parachute by holding it as high as you can and dropping it. Or climb to the top of the play structure at your local playground and let your parachute go.


What happens? Did your item survive its fall? How can you change your parachute to make it fall even more slowly?


Share pictures of your creation with Explorit on our facebook page at



Explorit’s coming events:


●      Visit our Feathers exhibition! Explorit’sExploration Gallery is open to the public every Wednesday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday, 1:00-5:00 p.m.  Admission is $5.00 per person; Explorit members, teachers and children 2 and under are free.

●      Summer Camp registration is open now! Visit for a full schedule and to register online. Or call 530-756-0191.

●      Consider a donation to Explorit. Now more than ever, we need science education. Your donations help Explorit serve our community with exhibits, activities and educational outreach programs in 15 surrounding counties. Sponsor a program or summer camp scholarships by making a gift at, or call us for more details.

●      Looking for that perfect gift?  Give the gift of science with a membership to Explorit and also gain free access to hundreds of science museums across the nation. For more information or to purchase or renew your membership online visit or call Explorit at 530-756-0191. For a list of participating museums across the nation visit

●      Be an informal science educator for a day! Explorit is looking for volunteers to accompany our educators into classrooms during the day and assist with presenting hands-on science to school children. If this sounds like you, please fill out a volunteer application at



Explorit Science Center is located at 3141 5th St. For more information call (530) 756-0191 or visit, or “like” us on Facebook at


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