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Others Like “Bouncing Basketballs: How Much Energy Does Dribbling Take?”

Project Idea
thumbnail Have you ever noticed that when you drop a basketball, its bounce does not reach the height you dropped it from? Why is that? When a basketball bounces, such as on a basketball court, its bounce actually loses momentum by transferring energy elsewhere. This means that to dribble the basketball, players must continually replace the transferred energy by pushing down on the ball. But what happens to the "lost" energy? As we know from physics, energy is not really lost, it just changes form. One… Read more
Sports_p038
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Time Required Short (2-5 days)
Prerequisites Must be able to dribble a basketball 100 times in a row quickly.
Material Availability An infrared thermometer is required to do this science project. See the Materials and Equipment list for details on where to buy one.
Cost Low ($20 - $50)
Safety No issues
Project Idea
thumbnail Many sports use a ball in some way or another. We throw them, dribble them, hit them, kick them, and they always bounce back! What makes a ball so bouncy? In this experiment you can investigate the effect of air pressure on ball bouncing. Read more
Sports_p007
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Time Required Very Short (≤ 1 day)
Prerequisites None
Material Availability Readily available
Cost Very Low (under $20)
Safety No issues
Project Idea
thumbnail You might think that plants and animals have little in common with batteries, springs, or slingshots, but they actually do have something in common. Both living and non-living things store and transfer energy from one form to another. In this physics science fair project, you'll investigate this energy storage and transfer, not in a plant or animal, but in bouncy balls. You'll find out if there are limits on how much energy can be stored and if there are losses when the energy is transferred. Read more
Phys_p071
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- Less Details
Time Required Short (2-5 days)
Prerequisites None
Material Availability Readily available
Cost Very Low (under $20)
Safety No issues
Project Idea
thumbnail You are right next to the basket and someone passes you the ball. Will you go for a direct shot or will you use the backboard and take a bank shot at the basket? Would different positions on the court give you a higher chance of making a shot using the backboard than others, even when keeping the distance from the hoop the same? In this science project, you will build a scale model and test different positions on the court to determine if one results in a better chance of making a bank shot… Read more
Sports_p024
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Time Required Short (2-5 days)
Prerequisites None
Material Availability Readily available
Cost Very Low (under $20)
Safety Adult supervision is recommended when using the craft or utility knife.
Project Idea
thumbnail In physics class, you have probably rolled your eyes at some point after being assigned a "projectile motion" homework problem where you use equations to predict how a ball will move through the air. This experiment will show you just how fun that problem can be by using a real catapult to launch a ball and videotaping it as it flies along its path. Then, you will analyze the video and compare it to what the equations predicted. If you have ever wondered if those equations in your physics… Read more
Phys_p089
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Time Required Average (6-10 days)
Prerequisites This project requires a basic understanding of algebra, trigonometry (sine and cosine functions), and physics (kinematics—two-dimensional projectile motion), or the willingness to learn about these subjects on your own.
Material Availability This project requires access to a video camera (not included in the cost estimate) and the purchase of a catapult kit. (See the Materials and Equipment list for details.)
Cost Average ($40 - $80)
Safety Minor injury possible. Never aim the catapult at anyone, and keep your hands and fingers clear of the moving catapult arm when launching the catapult.
Project Idea
Up, up, and away! If you have ever made a wish and blown the fluff of a dandelion, you have witnessed how some plants are adapted to spreading their seeds using the wind. The tiny, furry parachute allows the seeds to be picked up by the wind and to be carried far away from their parent plant. In this experiment, you will make models of seeds and fruit to investigate dispersal by wind and to evaluate the relationship between the structure of the seed and its ability to be dispersed by the… Read more
PlantBio_p013
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Time Required Very Short (≤ 1 day)
Prerequisites None
Material Availability Readily available
Cost Very Low (under $20)
Safety No issues
Project Idea
thumbnail If you have ever been shot with a rubber band then you know it has energy in it, enough energy to smack you in the arm and cause a sting! But just how much energy does a rubber band have? In this experiment you will find out how the stretching of a rubber band affects the amount of energy that springs out of it. Read more
ApMech_p017
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Time Required Very Short (≤ 1 day)
Prerequisites None
Material Availability Readily available
Cost Very Low (under $20)
Safety No issues
Project Idea
thumbnail If you'd like to investigate the physics of amusement park rides, then this project is for you. You'll build a roller coaster track for marbles using foam pipe insulation and masking tape, and see how much the marble's potential energy at the beginning of the track is converted to kinetic energy at various points along the track. Read more
Phys_p037
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Time Required Average (6-10 days)
Prerequisites None
Material Availability Readily available
Cost Low ($20 - $50)
Safety Adult supervision recommended when using utility knife
Project Idea
Expanding gases are everywhere, from the kitchen to the cosmos. You've tasted their pleasures every time you've eaten a slice of bread, bitten into a cookie, or sipped a glass of soda. In this chemistry science fair project, you'll capture a gas in a stretchy container you're probably pretty familiar with—a balloon. This will allow you to observe the gas expansion and contraction as the temperature changes. Read more
Chem_p077
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Time Required Very Short (≤ 1 day)
Prerequisites None
Material Availability Readily available
Cost Very Low (under $20)
Safety People with a latex allergy should not do this project. Use caution, as latex balloons are the leading choking hazard for children under 6.
Project Idea
Swish! What a great sound when you hit the perfect shot and get nothing but net. Here's a project to get you thinking about how you can make that perfect shot more often. Read more
Sports_p010
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- Less Details
Time Required Average (6-10 days)
Prerequisites None
Material Availability Readily available
Cost Very Low (under $20)
Safety No issues
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