Ball of Energy

Throw a tennis ball into the air and collect data to determine impact speed.

Key Questions

  • What happens to all of the energy in a falling ball when it hits the ground?
  • How is the maximum kinetic energy of a moving object related to its maximum velocity?
  • What happens to all of the energy in a moving vehicle when it crashes into another object?
  • Why does a small increase in a vehicle's velocity result in a more dangerous crash?

Student Directions

  1. View the Introduction video.
  2. Download and print the Student Activity Sheet.
  3. Do the activity and begin answering the analysis questions.
  4. View the Conclusion video and finish answering the analysis questions.
  5. View the video segment of "It's Basic Physics" to help review the science concept(s).

Gravitational Potential Energy (PE): stored energy due to the relative position of an object above the ground; measured in joules (J)

Kinetic Energy (KE): energy of motion; measured in joules (J)

Mechanical Energy (ME): the ability to do work; “the stuff” that makes things move; PE and KE are both types of mechanical energy

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About

Throw a tennis ball into the air and collect data to determine impact speed.

Key Questions

  • What happens to all of the energy in a falling ball when it hits the ground?
  • How is the maximum kinetic energy of a moving object related to its maximum velocity?
  • What happens to all of the energy in a moving vehicle when it crashes into another object?
  • Why does a small increase in a vehicle's velocity result in a more dangerous crash?
Directions

Student Directions

  1. View the Introduction video.
  2. Download and print the Student Activity Sheet.
  3. Do the activity and begin answering the analysis questions.
  4. View the Conclusion video and finish answering the analysis questions.
  5. View the video segment of "It's Basic Physics" to help review the science concept(s).
Vocabulary

Gravitational Potential Energy (PE): stored energy due to the relative position of an object above the ground; measured in joules (J)

Kinetic Energy (KE): energy of motion; measured in joules (J)

Mechanical Energy (ME): the ability to do work; “the stuff” that makes things move; PE and KE are both types of mechanical energy

Teachers

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