The relationship between the shape of a parachute and its drop velocity
The hypothesis holds true: among the parachutes, the round one took the longest amount of time to land. The round canopy had the least amount of air that escaped from its sides, fully utilizing its surface area by building up air resistance and lowering the drop velocity.
In previous wars, the military used parachutes to drop paratroopers and supplies safely beyond enemy lines. At present, they are used primarily for humanitarian purposes; to deliver medicine and food to inaccessible areas (these areas may be inaccessible because of their remoteness or because they have been hit by natural disasters). For extreme sports enthusiasts, parachuting, skydiving and base jumping are popular activities.
Use parachutes that have surface areas of difference sizes.
Drop the parachutes from different heights.
Parachute - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Parachute
How does the parachute work? - http://www.buzzle.com/articles/how-does-the-parachute-work.html
Basic safety requirements. Adult supervision recommended.