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**Department of Mathematics Education**

Bouncing Ball

J. Matt Tumlin

Does a
bouncing ball follow a linear pattern?
With classroom-generated data, students will be able to answer this
question. Students are instructed to enter the data in a graphing
calculator. Then they find a linear
equation that models it.

To motivate
the students, discuss what the ball is going to do. Ask students what they the ball will do. Ask students what accounts for the obvious
decrease in height.

For a Microsoft Word copy, CLICK HERE.

The materials you will need for this activity are a
rubber ball, measuring tape, and a graphing calculator. Have the students work in groups of
four. The assignments for the four group
members are as follows: one person will drop the ball, another person will use
their finger to mark the height of the ball on the measuring tape, the third
person will record the results, and lastly, on person will hold the tape
measure. Students should rotate jobs
halfway through the experiment. The ball
will be dropped from distances of 200 cm to 25 cm in steps of 25. The height of the first bounce should be
measured using the tape measure. The
group will decide how the measurement should be done. This measure should be taken the same way
each bounce. Two surfaces will be used,
the floor and the desk. The ball is to
be dropped three times from the same height.
The average of the 3 bounces is used for the data recorded in the table.

This problem has many
aspects you can go into, slope, y-intercept, equation of a line, and use of
technology. It also has many entry and
exit points.