We were cautious of poor road conditions so we decided to leave a bit later than scheduled. We arrived in Mary Immaculate College at 11:00am. We set up at table fifteen and in no time we had everything up. Our class was split up into two groups red and blue. The blue had first shift. Our experiment was based on forces, the question we investigated was “Why do different sports balls travel varying when the same force is applied?” We did several experiments down in the school field with lots of different sports balls some of tests were inconclusive so we needed to design instruments to test fairly. Our teacher challenged us to design instrument to launch a ball into the air using the same force but where the angle could change. We designed several instruments, our teacher was very impressed with our engineering. We used them to do small scale experiments to test air resistance and friction and angles. We found out that there are many forces that influence the flight of a ball e.g. air resistance, gravity, friction, spin, angle at which the ball is struck and the density and mass of the ball. For more information keep an eye out for our charts displayed in the school.
To make our display interesting and interactive we designed some games to help people learn about these forces while also having fun. Everyone enjoyed our games with the ball launcher and our miniature bowling, these games made people aware of angles and friction. When the judges came we were a little bit nervous but we impressed him with our charts and angle games. We also designed a computer game using scratch to show how force and angles effect the distance a ball travelled. Our judge’s name was Michael Browne. He interacted with all our games and was particularly interested in sports and science and was very impressed with our research. You can read his feedback sheet below. For the majority of the day our stand was flooding with people. We had a malfunction with our scratch game but was easily rectified. At lunch time and we got a great visit from the Minister of Education – Jan O’ Sullivan. For the second half of the day the red team took over and let the blue team go to the shows. We were entertained by a brilliant juggler who talked about gravity. We also went and saw how to make a gravity go cart, we were given a bag with three straws two axels and six wheels one class got as far as three hundred centimetres we came back to see the red team doing an incredible job. Some of us also saw a fun science experiment show. There were lots of other interesting projects there also we chatted to other school about their work. We really loved presenting our findings, we were asked so many questions we met some lovely people, many were very enthusiastic about our work. At the end of the day we were awarded a RDS PRIMARY SCIENCE FAIR trophy. We were thrilled with it. We were glad we had worked so hard. We took a group photo, packed up and got back on the bus to end an incredible day. Ms. Collins and Mr. Kelly were hugely proud of us and they say they are looking forward our future inventions!
Feedback from judge:
“Isn’t it amazing what losing a football match can lead to??This group explored the movement of a variety of balls in a variety of ways. They measured the distance travelled given certain variables. In the process they realised that the angle at which the ball is kicked/hit influences the result. This led to another series of investigations. The children put so much thought into this project –the windy day led them to design a model where so many variables could be controlled. The design of the striking mechanism really captured my attention. This project is really well researched, professionally presented and full of lovely design features. The children were so enthusiastic and knowledgeable. The interest that the children had in this project was so obvious. Congratulations! Excellent project. Well done!!” Michael Browne- Primary Science Fair Judge