Wednesday, September 12, 2018

Wednesday Explorers Club ~ Soccer ball science


Recreational soccer is in full swing now. So are the local school teams. And after a fantastic World Cup season, some kids have soccer on the brain. So now's as good a time as any to indulge in some soccer science.


 First, you need a soccer ball - and some others: a volleyball, basketball, and even a similar-sized beach ball. 

Now let's compare bounciness. Find a hard surface (a sidewalk, parking lot, or tennis court) for a bounce test. Hmmm - we need a way to measure how high balls bounce. how about taping a couple yard-sticks or tape measure to a fence, wall, or tree?

Testing time: Drop each kind of ball from a height of three feet and write down how high it bounces. Then, stand on a stool (or ask a really tall person) and drop each ball from six feet. Write down how high they bounce. Remember to do each bounce test three times so you get a fair idea of bounce height for each kind of ball. 

What do you notice?

So, if you're like my kids, you play soccer anywhere you have space: the back yard, school soccer field, packed earth driveway.... How does ball bounciness change with the playing surface? Try the bounce experiment on different surfaces. How does tall grass compare with mowed lawn? How does packed earth compare with a sandy surface?

OK - water break is over. Time to get back to the game!

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