Education Technology

Pass the Ball

Published on 06/09/2008

Activity Overview

Students use mathematics to examine patterns that occur in a specific scenario and predict future events for the scenario.
Data is collected on the time it takes to pass a ball. The students plot graphs, fit the data with a function rule, analyze proportional relationships, and make predictions.

Before the Activity

  • Use TI Connect™ to download Vernier EasyData™ application
  • See the attached PDF file for detailed instructions for this activity
  • Print pages 1 - 5 from the attached PDF file for the class
  • Set up the calculator for data collection
  • During the Activity

    Distribute the pages to the class.

    Follow the Activity procedures:

  • Have four students stand in a circle
  • Each students bounces the ball, catches it, and passes it to the next student
  • Continue passing the ball until it is back to the person who started
  • Determine the time it takes to complete one cycle
  • Record three trials and find out the average time
  • Collect data using five different sets of students
  • Enter the data (number of students in a group, and the time they took to pass the ball) as lists
  • Create a scatter plot
  • Perform a linear regression to fit the data with a function rule
  • Find the equation of the line of best fit, and calculate he slope
  • Estimate the time it would take the entire class to complete the activity and compare it to the actual time taken


  • Repeat the entire process of passing the ball, without bouncing it
  • Find the line of best fit
  • Find the approximate time the entire class would take to pass the ball
  • After the Activity

  • Students analyze the results and answer the case analysis questions on the student worksheet
  • Review student results
  • As a class, discuss questions that appeared to be more challenging
  • Re-teach concepts as necessary