Education Technology

Curve Ball - Adventure 12

Published on 06/09/2008

Activity Overview

In this adventure , students will make a Height-Time plot of a bouncing ball using the CBR 2™. They graph height as a function of time. They identify and understand the vertex form of a quadratic equation that is generated to describe the ball's motion.

Before the Activity

  • Connect CBR 2 to the calculator.
  • Launch the CBL /CBR 2™ App
  • Start the Ranger program and select the Ball Bounce application
  • Transfer files to the student calculators using the TI-Navigator™  "send to class" feature
  • See the attached PDF file for detailed instructions for this activity
  • Print pages 78 - 79 from the attached PDF file for your class
  • During the Activity

    Distribute the pages to your class.

    Follow the Adventure procedures:
    Collect Data:

  • Set up the CBR 2 at shoulder height with a ball 0.5 meters directly below it
  • Release the ball and collect ball bounce height data
  • Plot time versus distance data
  • Examine any one bounce, the plot has a parabolic shape
  • Explore the quadratic equation that describes this motion is quadratic:y = A(x - H)2 + K where A affects the width of the parabola and (H, K) is the vertex of the parabola. In this activity, the control variable, x, represents time and y represents height.
  • Identify the vertex (H, K) of the first complete bounce and substitute the values in the equation
  • Use different values of A in the equation and view the graph formed
  • Find the value of A that best fits bounce data and write the equation of a parabolic ball bounce
  • Find the equation for the second bounce
  • Explore how as values of A increases, the parabola gets narrower and as A decreases, the parabola gets wider
  • Value of A for a quadratic equation of a bouncing ball is constant


  • TI-Navigator activity:
  • Load the Arch.act activity settings file
  • Have students submit quadratic equations that best fit the arch
  • After the Activity

    Students analyze the results and answer the questions in the worksheet

    Review student results:

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