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Enrico Fermi High School Department of Physics
QUARTER I : Physics 231 Tennis Ball Launcher Project
DUE: TUESDAY NOVEMBER 1st 2011
Specifications:
 You and your partner will construct a tennis ball launcher capable of reliably
launching a tennis ball over a one (1) meter tall barrier at a target consisting of six
soda cans stacked in pyramid at the center of a bulls eye (1) meter wide placed 1.5
meters from the barrier. (See figure below). A reliable launcher fires repeatedly
without failing or breaking. Partners may be chosen from any student taking physics
231 with Mr. DeCormier or Mr. Mourad.
 The launcher design will be your choice. The release position (position where the
tennis ball actually leaves the launcher) may NOT be higher than 60 cm (0.6 m)
from the ground.
 The launcher should be built from household items. You should NOT have to spend
any money in the construction of your launcher.
 The propulsion must be supplied by mechanical means, meaning no human power.
 No chemicals, explosives, compressed air, or electricity may be used.
 The device must be able to hold the ball in a “loaded” position so that you can take
your hands off the device and then simply “pull a trigger” to launch the ball.
Deliverables:
 You must write a report about your launcher which will include:
o How your launcher was constructed; 1 – 2 paragraphs
o Labeled picture or diagram showing the trigger, ball release mechanism and
the form of propulsion for your launcher.
o Where your inspiration came from, why you chose your design; 1 paragraph
o Any design changes based on launcher performance, design challenges,
failures or road blocks along the way to your finished catapult; 2 -3
paragraphs
o A post-mortem paragraph that suggests a minimum of three improvements or
enhancements that could be made to a next-generation launcher.
 Analysis:
o Measure the range and height of the tennis ball projectile from launch to
landing.
o Calculate the following performance specifics for your catapult; final velocity
of projectile, angle of landing – Provide all calculations.
 Your launcher will be verbally presented to the class summarizing your report; 4 – 6
minutes
 Your project will be graded by the rubric on the following page.
1-m wide bulls
eye target
1 m
1.5 m
Tennis Ball Launcher
Placed at location of
your choice
Possible Points 0 2 3 4
Effort &
Creativity (2X)
Launcher is
incomplete or
just thrown
together –
“Used rubber
bands and a
spoon found in
classroom on
the morning of
the due date.”
Launcher appears
poorly
constructed or
slipshod. – “Parts
are a kludge but
somehow
manage to work
together.”
Launcher
appears well
constructed –
“Parts are well
chosen and
integrated
effectively.”
Launcher appears
well constructed
AND shows
evidence of
detailed work,
craftsmanship,
innovation –
“WOW! Should we
patent this?”
Reliability and
Performance.
Fails to launch
or misses target
all three
attempts
Ball lands within
1-m target 1 of 3
times
Ball lands within
1-m target 2 of 3
times
Ball lands within 1-
m target 3 of 3
times
Trigger and
Projectile
Loading
System
No trigger or
loading system
developed.
Trigger and
loading system
fails to
consistently hold
the projectile in
place resulting in
misfires.
Trigger and
loading system
consistently hold
the projectile in
place and results
in properly timed
firing.
Lock and Load
Baby! Ready to go
every time is
elegant and simple
to use.
Report No report
provided.
Report is missing
more than one of
the criteria listed
under the
“deliverables” on
the prior page.
Report is missing
one of the
criteria listed
under the
“deliverables” on
the prior page.
Report contains all
criteria listed
under
“deliverables” on
prior page.
Analysis No
measurements
or calculations
provided.
Measurements
and calculations
are incomplete or
incorrect.
Measurements
and calculations
are partially
correct.
Measurements and
calculations are
complete and
correct and are
neatly organized
and easy to follow
for anyone who
has never seen
your project.
Total Possible
Points: 24
Contest:
Your crew will compete in two rounds to knock over as many soda cans as possible. Prizes
will be awarded to the top three places.

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Physics 0231 tennis ball launcher project 2011 2012

  • 1. Enrico Fermi High School Department of Physics QUARTER I : Physics 231 Tennis Ball Launcher Project DUE: TUESDAY NOVEMBER 1st 2011 Specifications:  You and your partner will construct a tennis ball launcher capable of reliably launching a tennis ball over a one (1) meter tall barrier at a target consisting of six soda cans stacked in pyramid at the center of a bulls eye (1) meter wide placed 1.5 meters from the barrier. (See figure below). A reliable launcher fires repeatedly without failing or breaking. Partners may be chosen from any student taking physics 231 with Mr. DeCormier or Mr. Mourad.  The launcher design will be your choice. The release position (position where the tennis ball actually leaves the launcher) may NOT be higher than 60 cm (0.6 m) from the ground.  The launcher should be built from household items. You should NOT have to spend any money in the construction of your launcher.  The propulsion must be supplied by mechanical means, meaning no human power.  No chemicals, explosives, compressed air, or electricity may be used.  The device must be able to hold the ball in a “loaded” position so that you can take your hands off the device and then simply “pull a trigger” to launch the ball. Deliverables:  You must write a report about your launcher which will include: o How your launcher was constructed; 1 – 2 paragraphs o Labeled picture or diagram showing the trigger, ball release mechanism and the form of propulsion for your launcher. o Where your inspiration came from, why you chose your design; 1 paragraph o Any design changes based on launcher performance, design challenges, failures or road blocks along the way to your finished catapult; 2 -3 paragraphs o A post-mortem paragraph that suggests a minimum of three improvements or enhancements that could be made to a next-generation launcher.  Analysis: o Measure the range and height of the tennis ball projectile from launch to landing. o Calculate the following performance specifics for your catapult; final velocity of projectile, angle of landing – Provide all calculations.  Your launcher will be verbally presented to the class summarizing your report; 4 – 6 minutes  Your project will be graded by the rubric on the following page. 1-m wide bulls eye target 1 m 1.5 m Tennis Ball Launcher Placed at location of your choice
  • 2. Possible Points 0 2 3 4 Effort & Creativity (2X) Launcher is incomplete or just thrown together – “Used rubber bands and a spoon found in classroom on the morning of the due date.” Launcher appears poorly constructed or slipshod. – “Parts are a kludge but somehow manage to work together.” Launcher appears well constructed – “Parts are well chosen and integrated effectively.” Launcher appears well constructed AND shows evidence of detailed work, craftsmanship, innovation – “WOW! Should we patent this?” Reliability and Performance. Fails to launch or misses target all three attempts Ball lands within 1-m target 1 of 3 times Ball lands within 1-m target 2 of 3 times Ball lands within 1- m target 3 of 3 times Trigger and Projectile Loading System No trigger or loading system developed. Trigger and loading system fails to consistently hold the projectile in place resulting in misfires. Trigger and loading system consistently hold the projectile in place and results in properly timed firing. Lock and Load Baby! Ready to go every time is elegant and simple to use. Report No report provided. Report is missing more than one of the criteria listed under the “deliverables” on the prior page. Report is missing one of the criteria listed under the “deliverables” on the prior page. Report contains all criteria listed under “deliverables” on prior page. Analysis No measurements or calculations provided. Measurements and calculations are incomplete or incorrect. Measurements and calculations are partially correct. Measurements and calculations are complete and correct and are neatly organized and easy to follow for anyone who has never seen your project. Total Possible Points: 24 Contest: Your crew will compete in two rounds to knock over as many soda cans as possible. Prizes will be awarded to the top three places.