Launch a Ping-Pong ball
engineering and physics
The activity deals with an engineering topic. It aims at presenting engineering in a gender inclusive way, supporting the participation of all the students and discussing the gender balance in engineering.
The teacher divides the group into couples and hands every team paper cup and a ball . The students play the pong-shot game. After 10 minutes discuss the observations; Which elements influence the trajectory? What could you do to control the ping pong ball trajectory? The discussion includes many different aspects: the spot where the ball bounces, the direction, the intensity of the force etc.
The teacher invites the students to create a structure for the pong shot in order to have a controlled trajectory. The structure could be a sort of slide or a ramp. Every group of students presents and tests his structure. The teacher asks about the different variables, such as as speed, starting point, bounces, heights, inclination, materials of the bouncing surface, rotation of the ball, force, distance, and how these factors influenced the trajectory.