Grade Range
Kindergarten-5th
Group Size
2
Total Time
30 minutes
Area of Science
Physics
Key Concepts
bounce, motion, rebound height, elasticity, ratios, measurement
Credits
TeachEngineering logo

Overview

Students determine the coefficient of restitution (or the elasticity) for super balls. Working in pairs, they drop balls from a meter height and determine how high they bounce. They measure, record and repeat the process to gather data to calculate average bounce heights and coefficients of elasticity. Then they extrapolate to determine the height the ball would bounce if dropped from much higher heights.

Engineering Connection

Mechanical engineers select materials that meet their design needs based on their properties, which might include coefficient of friction, restitution, elasticity, structural strength, melting point, etc. Scientists and engineers also need standardized ways to describe material properties and carry out repeatable experiments that take into account real-world variability that can come into play for specific measurement attempts. Scientists and engineers often need to extrapolate their measurements to estimate what would happen under more extreme conditions. They use known patterns to make predictions (not random guesses).

NGSS Alignment

This lesson helps students prepare for these Next Generation Science Standards Performance Expectations:
  • 3-PS2-2. Make observations and/or measurements of an object's motion to provide evidence that a pattern can be used to predict future motion.
This lesson focuses on these aspects of NGSS Three Dimensional Learning:

Science & Engineering Practices Disciplinary Core Ideas Crosscutting Concepts
Planning and Carrying out Investigations. Make observations and/or measurements to produce data to serve as the basis for evidence for an explanation of a phenomenon or test a design solution.

Science Knowledge is Based on Empirical Evidence. Science findings are based on recognizing patterns.
PS2.A: Forces and Motion. The patterns of an object's motion in various situations can be observed and measured; when that past motion exhibits a regular pattern, future motion can be predicted from it.
Patterns. Patterns of change can be used to make predictions.

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Grade Range
Kindergarten-5th
Group Size
2
Total Time
30 minutes
Area of Science
Physics
Key Concepts
bounce, motion, rebound height, elasticity, ratios, measurement
Credits
TeachEngineering logo
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