Science Project:

Exploring Compound Motion

3.0 based on 7 ratings

Research Question:

Is the force of gravity affected by a horizontal force?

If you drop a ball, the force of gravity makes it hit the ground. If you throw a ball, two forces are working on the ball – gravity, and the horizontal force from your throw. Which ball do you think would hit the ground first? Use this science project to find out.

Materials:

  • Ruler
  • 2 pennies


Experimental Procedure:

  1. Place a ruler so that it is halfway on the table, perpendicular to the side of the table.
  2. Rest your left finger on the ruler right where it hits the edge of the table.
  3. Use your right finger to push one end of the ruler sideways so that it is now on a diagonal with the table.
  4. Place one penny at the end of the ruler that is off the table.
  5. Place the other penny on the table between the other end of the ruler and the edge of the table.
  6. Strike the ruler in the same directly as you did before, but suddenly. This will make both pennies drop to the floor at the same time. One will drop straight down, and the other will shoot out horizontally as it falls.
  7. Watch the pennies to see which one hits the ground first. Repeat the experiment several times to check your data. What does that tell you about the effect of horizontal movement on gravitational force?

Terms/Concepts: Gravity; Forces; Compound motion; How quickly do objects fall?

References:

  • Goal! Science Projects with Soccer, by Madeline Goodstein. Pp 31-33.

Author: Keren Perles
Disclaimer and Safety Precautions

Education.com provides the Science Fair Project Ideas for informational purposes only. Education.com does not make any guarantee or representation regarding the Science Fair Project Ideas and is not responsible or liable for any loss or damage, directly or indirectly, caused by your use of such information. By accessing the Science Fair Project Ideas, you waive and renounce any claims against Education.com that arise thereof. In addition, your access to Education.com's website and Science Fair Project Ideas is covered by Education.com's Privacy Policy and site Terms of Use, which include limitations on Education.com's liability.

Warning is hereby given that not all Project Ideas are appropriate for all individuals or in all circumstances. Implementation of any Science Project Idea should be undertaken only in appropriate settings and with appropriate parental or other supervision. Reading and following the safety precautions of all materials used in a project is the sole responsibility of each individual. For further information, consult your state's handbook of Science Safety.

How likely are you to recommend Education.com to your friends and colleagues?

Not at all likely
Extremely likely