Education Technology

Hit the Target

Published on 07/15/2011

Activity Overview

In this lesson, students will explore the range of a marble that rolls down a ramp and off a table. The goal is for students to develop a mathematical model that will allow them to hit a target placed on the floor on the first try.

Objectives

  • Students will explore the range of a marble that rolls down a ramp and off a table.
  • Students will investigate the relationship between the range of the marble, the angle of the ramp, and the release distance up the ramp. They will also develop a mathematical model relating these variables.
  • Students will use their model to hit a target placed on the floor.

Vocabulary

  • mathematical model
  • range

About the Lesson

This lesson is an exploration by students of the range of a marble that rolls down a ramp and off a table. The goal is for students to develop a mathematical model that will allow them to hit a target placed on the floor on the first try.
As a result, students will:

  • Make systematic measurements and record the data in an organized fashion.
  • Use graphs to analyze the data and develop a mathematical model relating: 1. the range of the projectile to the release distance up the ramp and 2. the angle of the ramp.
  • Use their model to determine the appropriate angle and release distance needed to make the marble hit a target on the floor.