Table Tennis - Let's Play

Maxine Edwards and Mary Teal
The Center for Advancement of Teaching

Table Tennis - Let's Play
Lesson Plan
Algebra 1 Level

Objective: The student will be able to graphically demonstrate the relationship of the height of a bouncing ball relative to the number of times the ball bounces.

Engage:Discuss bouncing balls and different players' heights vs. the number of times the player bounces the ball while going down court. Discuss the different types of surfaces that you bounce a ball on and the effects on height of bounces.

    Explore: Group Experiment
    1. Materials - Tape, Meter sticks , data sheets, ping pong balls, basketball, baseball, golf ball, tennis ball, racquetball, and soccer ball.
    2. Students will mark with tape 2 perpendicular lines on a wall forming a single quadrant. The vertical tape should be 200 cm in length from the floor to the endpoint. Students should mark zero at the bottom of the tape and label each 20 cm from the bottom up. The horizontal tape should be placed on the wall at a distance of 50 cm from the floor.
    3. Each group will have a different type of ball with which to perform the experiment. If time permits, students could rotate stations to collect different data.
    4. Procedure:
      A) Drop ball from initial height of 200 cm.
      B) Record the number of bounces that are above the 50 cm level.
      C) Reduce height by 20 cm.
      D) Repeat procedure to collect all data for each height to 60 cm.

      Explain Using the data table, each group will present graph of data to rest of class. Discuss the variance of type of ball in relationship to the number of bounces. Discuss the possible behavior of bouncing balls over a time interval.
      Elaborate:Complete the experiment using the EA-100 and the CFX-9850G .

      Motion Detector
      balls ex. Ping Pong, racquetball, beach ball, tennis ball, basketball, child's play ball
      meter sticks - for measuring height
      SONIC program
      data communication cable

    5. Perform experiment as follows:
      • Secure the motion detector at a height of at least 90cm from the surface the ball will be bounced on. Be sure that nothing blocks the cone of detection.
      • Make sure the motion detector is plugged into the SONIC port of the EA-100.
      • Connect the EA-100 to the CFX-9850G using the data communication cable.
      • Retrieve program SONIC from the CFX-9850G b. Go to Main Menu and select PRGM
        c. Cursor down to highlight SONIC
        d. EXE
      • Position ball under motion detector at a height of no more than 65cm from the surface to be bounced on.
      • Push TRIGGER and drop ball SIMUTANEOUSLY. This may take several attempts before achieving accurate data.
      • Measurement will be completed when EA-100 displays DONE.
      • Push EXE on CFX-9850G to display graph.

    Evaluate Using data table from the graph, have students approximate the graph representing the behavior of the bouncing ball. For further exploration, students could perform the experiment using a ping pong ball and then a tennis ball to compare the different reactions. Students should list and discuss the differing physical characteristics that could effect the rebound rate.

    Developed by:
    Maxine Edwards and Mary Teal
    Butler High School Matthews, NC

    additional help from:
    Neal Farley
    Independence High School
    Charlotte, NC