Education Technology

Bounce Back: The Exponential Pattern of Rebound Heights

Published on 07/02/2009

Activity Overview

In this activity, students' will use a motion detector to collect motion data for a bouncing ball. They will then analyze the data to test the exponential model of motion.

Before the Activity

  • Connect the motion detector to the DIG/SONIC port of the CBL 2™ or the DIG/SONIC 1 port of the Vernier LabPro®
  • Connect the CBL 2 or LabPro to the calculator using the Unit-to-Unit cable
  • See the attached PDF file for detailed instructions for this activity
  • Print pages 185 - 194 from the attached PDF file for your class
  • During the Activity

    Distribute the pages to your class.

    Follow the Activity procedures:

  • Hold the motion detector 1.5 m above the floor, pointing downward
  • Drop the ball beneath the motion detector, and begin data collection
  • Examine the distance versus time graph on the calculator
  • Trace across the graph and record the maximum height of each bounce
  • Plot the rebound height versus the bounce number
  • Write an optimized model equation and use the parameters to write the fitted linear equation
  • After the Activity

    Students' will analyze data, complete the Data Collection and Analysis Sheet and answer the questions listed in it.

    Review student results

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