What happens if you stack a tennis ball on top of a basketball and drop them? This fun experiment leads to loads of challenges if you have extra balls lying around. With a little extra space and some creativity, see if you can come up with the highest bouncing combination!
What you need:
- Tennis Ball
- Basket Ball
What you do:
- Drop a tennis ball and the basketball from shoulder height.
- Note which one bounces higher.
- Stack the tennis ball on top of the basketball.
- Drop from shoulder height.
Pretty amazing! Round up all the balls you have from small bouncy balls to soccer balls and see which combination bounces the highest.
Can you predict which ball combinations will make the highest bounces?
Why it works:
Energy is transferred from the basketball to the tennis ball when they hit the ground, giving the tennis ball extra velocity to bounce higher. In science language, when the balls hit the floor, the larger mass of the two balls is decreased to only the mass of the tennis ball, which bounces up with greater velocity because of the change in mass.