Science Fair Project:

Losing the Tennis Ball Bounce

4.5 based on 36 ratings

Research Questions:

  • What is the rebound rate of a new ball?
  • What is the rebound rate of a ball used after ten games?
  • Does it matter what kind of ball is used?
  • Does one ball experience more wear than the others?
  • Does one ball hold up better than the others?

The rebound rate of a tennis ball is the ratio of the height to which the ball bounces divided by the height from which the ball is dropped. We'll use rebound rating to measure the bounciness of new tennis balls versus those that have been used for ten games.

Materials:

  • 3 new tennis balls (make sure they are each different brands)
  • Tennis rackets and court
  • A volunteer to help you measure
  • Pen or pencil
  • Lab notebook

Experimental Procedure

  1. Begin by measuring the rebound rate of each of your new tennis balls. Record the results for each ball in your notebook.
  2. Over the next several months, use each ball to play ten games of tennis.
  3. After you have played all the games, repeat step one and record your results.
  4. Analyze your data. How did the rebound rate changed for each ball? Were results similar for all three or did one ball experience more or less wear than the rest? Any surprises?
  5. Graph your data to illustrate your results.

Terms/Concepts: rebound rate, ratio

References:

Why Do Tennis Balls Lose Their Bounce? http://van.physics.illinois.edu/qa/listing.php?id=951.

How quickly does a tennis ball lose its bounce? http://www.sciencebuddies.org/science-fair-projects/project_ideas/Sports_p039.shtml.

Author: Kimberly Hutmacher
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