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Sesame Street

Bouncing Balls

Conduct a scientific investigation to see which ball bounces the highest.

Materials

  • Different colored sheets of construction paper
  • Marker
  • Variety of different balls such as a rubber ball, hacky sack ball, ping pong ball, tennis ball, basketball, and clay ball.

Directions

  1. Tape different colored pieces of construction paper right above each other to a wall or a tree to create a measuring tool.
  2. Talk together about the similarities and differences between the balls such as shape, size, and texture. Then, make a prediction about which one you think will bounce the highest.
  3. Set up a fair test by deciding what height you will drop the balls.
  4. Drop each ball in front of the construction paper measuring tool and note what color the ball bounces up to.
  5. Draw a line on the paper for every ball and label it to show how high each ball bounced.
  6. Once all of the balls have been recorded, look at the construction paper and figure out which ball bounced the highest.
  7. Look carefully at the balls that bounced the highest. What do you notice? Are there any similarities between them? Then, look carefully at the balls that didn’t bounce high. What do you notice about these?
  8. Save your construction paper measuring tool with the ball bouncing data, and the next time you come across a ball, test it out. First, think about the properties of the highest bouncing balls and compare them to the new ball. Then, make a prediction about how high the new ball will bounce and conduct your fair test.

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