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How high can you throw different types of balls, like a golf ball, a basketball, and a football? Would one of them go higher than the others? Do factors like mass, shape, and volume influence the final height? You can measure the approximate maximum height a thrown ball reaches by measuring the time it spends in the air.
To do this project, you'll need at least one ball and a helper with a stopwatch. Your helper should start timing just as you release the ball, and stop right when the ball touches the ground. The height, h (in meters), can be calculated from the time aloft, t as follows:
h = 4.9 × (0.5 × t)2
For height in feet, change "4.9" in the above equation to "16". (Wiese, 2002, 20-22.)
Advanced project idea: If you've taken high school physics, you should be able to derive the equation above for yourself. Can you develop an explanation for how high you can throw different balls based on the forces acting on the balls?
Wiese, J., 2002. Sports Science: 40 Goal-Scoring, High-Flying, Medal-Winning Experiments for Kids. New York, NY: John Wiley and Sons.
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General citation information is provided here. Be sure to check the formatting, including capitalization, for the method you are using and update your citation, as needed.
Science Buddies Staff.
"How High Can You Throw a Baseball? A Tennis Ball? A Football? A Golf Ball?" Science Buddies,
16 Mar. 2022,
Accessed 22 May 2022.
Science Buddies Staff.
(2022, March 16).
How High Can You Throw a Baseball? A Tennis Ball? A Football? A Golf Ball?