For learners with weaker mathematical skills, core GCSE students or KS3 Physics this introduction to efficiency calculations is fun, focussed and avoids learning objectives being lost in a swamp of mathematics!
Students drop a ping pong ball and work out the efficiency of the bounce using the initial and final height. This is a fairly standard practical for AS Physics; however, working out gravitational potential energies can be arduous and potentially confusing for lower ability students when efficiency calculations need to be the core objective.
This resource includes a worksheet and a template for a 50 cm 'Joule-ruler' (my own invention - simply print out on A3, slice and stick to a half-meter ruler). Specially calibrated for a standard 3.0 g ping pong/table tennis ball, the 'Joule-ruler' can be used to instantly read off gravitational potential energies.
Use with naked eye is fine, however it's also a really neat practical to do with iPhones or similar gadgetry - students can film the bounce in slow motion.
Things you will need:
- 50 cm rulers (metre rulers fine too or wooden batons)
- Clamp stands
- Ping pong/table tennis balls (number these so that any misbehaviour can be held accountable)
- Materials to bounce ping pong balls off (foam and plastic a few mm thick works well)
Original Word document and answer sheet included. Suitable for AQA GCSE Core Science P1 and similar.