Science Strand: Materials
Strand Unit: Properties and characteristics of materials
Junior Infants wanted to investigate different types of balls to see which one was the bounciest. There was a large selection of balls in the P.E. cupboard so we used some of these as well as some from our classroom. We decided to use a tennis ball, a basketball, a football, a ping pong ball and a soft spongy ball.
We used a metre stick to measure how high the ball bounced.
First of all, we had to make predictions about which ball would be the bounciest. We talked about what sports we see on television that use the different types of balls. Some children thought that the basketball would be the bounciest because it was the biggest. Other children thought that the football would be the bounciest because it was hard. Most children predicted that the tennis ball would be the bounciest and that the spongy ball would be the least bouncy.
We then carried out our investigation. We discussed how to make the investigation a fair test. We chose to drop the ball from the top of the metre stick each time. We also made sure that we dropped the ball from our hand instead of throwing it down.
For each ball we tested, one child held the metre stick, one dropped the ball and another child watched how high the ball bounced. Miss Hickey marked the place on the metre stick where the ball landed with a marker. The metre stick was very useful as it had different colours (blue and yellow) so we just had to see which colour it reached.
After all of the balls had been bounced, we could see which was the bounciest.
The ball that bounced the highest was the ping pong ball. The second bounciest ball was the basketball, followed by the tennis ball and football. The spongy ball was the least bouncy. We learned that balls bounce differently depending on what material they are made of.
Our science investigation was linked to maths in a few different ways:
Shape and Space – 3D shape: We have recently learned about 3D shapes and we know that a ball is a sphere shape.
Number – Comparing and ordering: We had to put the balls in order from the bounciest to the least bouncy. We used the language of ordinal number when we were deciding which balls to test first and last.
Measures – Length: We compared the balls according to how high they bounced.