Gaining height

Gaining height
Publication Date: August, 2003
Type of Resource: Practical activity/investigation

This online resource is a good demonstration of the transfer of energy.

The resource give details of a teacher demonstration on the energy transformations involved in a collision between a basketball and a tennis ball.

A tennis ball is positioned on top of a basketball and the two are dropped from a height. The tennis ball is spectacularly propelled high into the air when they collide with the floor.

The resource also gives a detailed explanation of what’s going on and how to take things further.

Additional Information

It might be worth using the school gymnasium or an outdoor space as this activity is not really appropriate for the science laboratory. It could be done as a student practical activity if enough equipment is available for students to work in groups.

Needs access to basketballs and tennis balls (and ping pong balls if extended).

Australian Curriculum:
  • Year 10 > Science Inquiry Skills > Communicating > Communicate scientific ideas and information for a particular purpose,... > ACSIS208
  • Year 10 > Science Inquiry Skills > Planning and conducting > Select and use appropriate equipment, including digital technologies, to... > ACSIS200
  • Year 10 > Science Inquiry Skills > Processing and analysing data and information > Analyse patterns and trends in data, including describing relationships between... > ACSIS203
  • Year 10 > Science Understanding > Physical Sciences > Energy conservation in a system can be explained by describing energy transfers... > ACSSU190
  • Year 10 > Science Understanding > Physical Sciences > The motion of objects can be described and predicted using the laws of physics > ACSSU229
  • Year Senior Secondary > Science Understanding > Physical Sciences