Education Technology

The Bouncing Ball

Activity Overview

In this activity, students will graph the height of a ball versus time after it is dropped from some height. They will then examine one ball bounce and investigate the parameters that effect the shape of the graph. They will also explore the relationship between the height of the ball and the velocity.

Before the Activity

  • Connect the calculator to the CBR 2™
  • Install the TI Connect™ software to analyze data on the computer
  • See the attached PDF file for detailed instructions for this activity
  • Print pages 39 - 43 from the attached PDF file for your class
  • During the Activity

    Distribute the pages to your class.

    Follow the Activity procedures:

  • Run the Ranger program on the calculator
  • Release the ball beneath the CBR and begin data collection
  • Observe the graph of height versus time on the calculator
  • Trace the graph and record the X extremes and the vertex of the parabolic shape of one bounce
  • Draw a best fit parabola and write down its equation
  • Use the values from the parabola and plot the velocity graph
  • Record the coordinates of 2 points that fall on the line and find the slope and y-intercept of the line
  • Repeat data collection for subsequent bounce-parabolas
  • After the Activity

    Students will complete the Data Collection table and answer questions listed in it.

    Review student results:

  • As a class, discuss questions that appeared to be more challenging
  • Re-teach concepts as necessary