Fun with Air-Powered Pneumatics

This Fun with Air-Powered Pneumatics lesson plan also includes:

How high did the ball go? Engineering teams build a working pneumatic system that launches a ball into the air. The teams vary the amount of pressure and determine the accompanying height of the ball. An extension of building a device to catch the ball incorporates the engineering design process.

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CCSS: Designed
NGSS: Designed
Instructional Ideas

  • To concentrate on the mathematics or the design of the catching device pre-build the ball launchers 
  • Keep the pressure constant and vary the size of ball 
Classroom Considerations

  • A low ceiling may affect the data collection
  • Launcher testing can take an entire class period
Pros

  • Step-by-step instructions help with building the launcher
  • A list of suggested supplies accompanies the material list
Cons

  • An extensive materials list is needed
  • Method for measuring height is not detailed
Common Core