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Investigating Bouncing Balls

In this worksheet, students will be tested on their ability to carry out an investigation.

'Investigating Bouncing Balls' worksheet

Key stage:  KS 2

Curriculum topic:  Working Scientifically

Curriculum subtopic:  Reporting and Presenting Findings

Difficulty level:  

down

Worksheet Overview

QUESTION 1 of 10

This worksheet tests your ability to carry out an investigation.

 

Bouncy ball

 

This experiment is about bouncy balls and measuring their bounce and how best to display and interpret those results.

 

Let's see what's going on.

Mrs. Bates's science class are finding out how high a tennis ball bounces on different surfaces.

 

They dropped a tennis ball from a height of 100 cm.  Here are their results:

 

Surface Bounce (cm)
Clay 50
Tarmac 56
Concrete 62
Grass 35

 

Next, they carried out a second test. They recorded the height that the same ball bounced to when dropped from different heights onto the same surface.

 

Use the evidence from their two tests to suggest which surface they used for their second investigation.  Here are their results:

 

Drop (cm) Bounce (cm)
50 32
100 62
150 88
200 115
grass

tarmac

concrete

clay

Mrs. Bates's class are carrying out an investigation to find out how high a tennis ball bounces on different surfaces. They dropped a tennis ball from a height of 100 cm.  They measured how high the ball bounced and recorded their results like this:

 

Surface

 

How high ball

bounced (cm)

grass 35
tarmac 56
concrete 62
clay 50

 

How did the children present their results?

in a graph

in a bar chart

in a pie chart

in a table

Why did they drop the ball from the same height each time?

You can't be bothered to change the height.

To make the test fair.

The ball bounces too far if the height is too much.

What is the ONE factor they changed as they carried out their investigation?

the ball

the air

the surface

the ruler

Next, the class decided to try different types of ball to see which would bounce the highest.

 

Here is their table of results from Q1:

 

Surface Bounce (cm)
Clay 50
Tarmac 56
Concrete 62
Grass 35

 

Looking at their results, which surface would you choose for this test?

grass

tarmac

concrete

clay

How many times do you think they should drop each different type of ball?

1

5

10

20

Here are the different types of ball they decided to try:

 

Tennis ball Football Golf ball Squash ball Ping pong ball
Tennis ball Football Golf ball Squash ball Ping pong ball

 

Predict which ONE of these balls you reckon will bounce the highest.

tennis ball

football

golf ball

squash ball

ping pong ball

The class carried out their investigation and recorded their results as follows:

 

  TENNIS BALL GOLF BALL FOOTBALL SQUASH BALL PING PONG BALL
  60 85 52 21 28
  55 89 55 25 32
  62 81 49 19 28
  61 84 56 20 29
  59 84 53 21 30
AVERAGE 59 85 72 21 29

 

To find the average 'bounce' for each ball, the groups added up their results and divided by 5.

 

One group seems to have made a mistake.  Which ball were they investigating?

tennis ball

golf ball

football

squash ball

ping pong ball

Here is their table of results again:

 

  TENNIS BALL GOLF BALL FOOTBALL SQUASH BALL PING PONG BALL
  60 85 52 21 28
  55 89 55 25 32
  62 81 49 19 28
  61 84 56 20 29
  59 84 53 21 30
AVERAGE 59 85 72 21 29

 

Calculate the correct average for the group that made a mistake and write it into the box provided.

Here is the set of results that the class calculated:

 

AVERAGE Tennis ball = 59 Golf ball = 85 Football = 72 Squash ball = 21 Ping pong ball = 29

 

Now, remembering that someone's made a mistake, put the balls in order of how high they actually bounced, placing the highest first and the lowest fifth.

Column A

Column B

1st (highest bounce)
Squash ball
2nd
Ping pong ball
3rd
Golf ball
4th
Football
5th (lowest bounce)
Tennis ball

How would you present the results of this investigation in order to make a good visual impact?

bar graph

pie chart

table

scatter graph

  • Question 1

Mrs. Bates's science class are finding out how high a tennis ball bounces on different surfaces.

 

They dropped a tennis ball from a height of 100 cm.  Here are their results:

 

Surface Bounce (cm)
Clay 50
Tarmac 56
Concrete 62
Grass 35

 

Next, they carried out a second test. They recorded the height that the same ball bounced to when dropped from different heights onto the same surface.

 

Use the evidence from their two tests to suggest which surface they used for their second investigation.  Here are their results:

 

Drop (cm) Bounce (cm)
50 32
100 62
150 88
200 115
CORRECT ANSWER
concrete
EDDIE SAYS
Look at the first set of results - all at 100cm. Remember, the second experiment has data for different heights, so look for the one where the ball bounced to the equivalent of 62cm for 100cm start. Now go and look that height up on table 1. The surface should be concrete.
  • Question 2

Mrs. Bates's class are carrying out an investigation to find out how high a tennis ball bounces on different surfaces. They dropped a tennis ball from a height of 100 cm.  They measured how high the ball bounced and recorded their results like this:

 

Surface

 

How high ball

bounced (cm)

grass 35
tarmac 56
concrete 62
clay 50

 

How did the children present their results?

CORRECT ANSWER
in a table
EDDIE SAYS
The results shown in the question are in the form of a table. A bar chart would have been equally good. A graph and pie chart are not suitable for this data.
  • Question 3

Why did they drop the ball from the same height each time?

CORRECT ANSWER
To make the test fair.
EDDIE SAYS
If the ball is dropped from different heights then there are two variables operating: height and surface. If the results are different, you cannot tell which of them is causing an effect. Only change ONE variable at a time!
  • Question 4

What is the ONE factor they changed as they carried out their investigation?

CORRECT ANSWER
the surface
EDDIE SAYS
Remember, it was the SAME tennis ball from the SAME height. But it was dropped on to clay, tarmac, concrete and grass - the surfaces changed. So that must be the reason that the results are different.
  • Question 5

Next, the class decided to try different types of ball to see which would bounce the highest.

 

Here is their table of results from Q1:

 

Surface Bounce (cm)
Clay 50
Tarmac 56
Concrete 62
Grass 35

 

Looking at their results, which surface would you choose for this test?

CORRECT ANSWER
concrete
EDDIE SAYS
Whatever you chose, you're not exactly 'wrong' as any of them will work. However, in many ways the concrete would be best as it gives the highest bounce and so would give the best spread of results. If you choose grass, it's likely that many of the bounces for all the different balls will be quite close together in height. Make sense?
  • Question 6

How many times do you think they should drop each different type of ball?

CORRECT ANSWER
5
EDDIE SAYS
In scientific investigations, the more results the better, so that would make 20 the best answer. However, this is a science class and the young scientists will get bored with drop after drop after drop. To be honest, they will get perfectly valid results from 5 drops for each ball without it taking for ever and ever.
  • Question 7

Here are the different types of ball they decided to try:

 

Tennis ball Football Golf ball Squash ball Ping pong ball
Tennis ball Football Golf ball Squash ball Ping pong ball

 

Predict which ONE of these balls you reckon will bounce the highest.

CORRECT ANSWER
golf ball
EDDIE SAYS
Now, this is YOUR prediction, so whatever you chose is probably 'correct'. However, in your life you will probably have had experience of different balls and how well they bounce, so you will have drawn on that experience to make your choice. Any of these balls will bounce on a hard surface, but the one to watch out for, because of its big bounce and its ability to break windows, is the golf ball!
  • Question 8

The class carried out their investigation and recorded their results as follows:

 

  TENNIS BALL GOLF BALL FOOTBALL SQUASH BALL PING PONG BALL
  60 85 52 21 28
  55 89 55 25 32
  62 81 49 19 28
  61 84 56 20 29
  59 84 53 21 30
AVERAGE 59 85 72 21 29

 

To find the average 'bounce' for each ball, the groups added up their results and divided by 5.

 

One group seems to have made a mistake.  Which ball were they investigating?

CORRECT ANSWER
football
EDDIE SAYS
Did you notice that the group testing out the football had an 'average' result higher than any of their results? That's not possible - someone's made a mistake adding up and no one's looked at the results and said, "that doesn't make sense." Do you always check your results carefully like that?
  • Question 9

Here is their table of results again:

 

  TENNIS BALL GOLF BALL FOOTBALL SQUASH BALL PING PONG BALL
  60 85 52 21 28
  55 89 55 25 32
  62 81 49 19 28
  61 84 56 20 29
  59 84 53 21 30
AVERAGE 59 85 72 21 29

 

Calculate the correct average for the group that made a mistake and write it into the box provided.

CORRECT ANSWER
53
EDDIE SAYS
Assuming that you already knew that it was the football group who'd made a mistake, you'd have added 52+55+49+56+53 and divided the total by 5 to get an average of 53. That's more like it!
  • Question 10

Here is the set of results that the class calculated:

 

AVERAGE Tennis ball = 59 Golf ball = 85 Football = 72 Squash ball = 21 Ping pong ball = 29

 

Now, remembering that someone's made a mistake, put the balls in order of how high they actually bounced, placing the highest first and the lowest fifth.

CORRECT ANSWER

Column A

Column B

1st (highest bounce)
Golf ball
2nd
Tennis ball
3rd
Football
4th
Ping pong ball
5th (lowest bounce)
Squash ball
EDDIE SAYS
If you put the football second, you forgot that that group had got their's wrong! The golf ball was the highest (85 cm) and the squash ball the lowest bouncer (21cm).
  • Question 11

How would you present the results of this investigation in order to make a good visual impact?

CORRECT ANSWER
bar graph
EDDIE SAYS
These results lend themselves beautifully to a bar graph, with lovely coloured bars at different heights to match the average heights that each ball reached. It would look great!
---- OR ----

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