Education Technology

That's the Way the Ball Bounces: Height and Time for a Bouncing Ball

Published on 07/02/2009

Activity Overview

In this activity, students' will record the motion of a bouncing ball using a motion detector. They will then model a bounce using both the general and vertex forms of the parabola.

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 103 - 110 from the attached PDF file for your class
  • During the Activity

    Distribute the pages to your class.

    Follow the Activity procedures:

  • Drop the ball so that it bounces straight up and down beneath the motion detector and collect distance versus time data
  • Examine the distance versus time parabolic graph and record the coordinates of the vertex in the Data Sheet
  • Perform a quadratic regression on the data and determine the parameters of the regression curve
  • After the Activity

    Students' will complete the Student Data Collection and Analysis Sheet 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