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Bouncing Balls

Date: Mon, 14 Nov 1994 20:30:39 -0500 (EST)
From: "Marilyn S. Heath"
Subject: Geometry Project

Dear Dr. Math:

My name is Dan Heath.  I am a ninth grader at Upper Darby High School.  I
am in a Honors Geometry class.  I have another geometry project described

Geometry Project

Problem:  Balls bounce off of solid objects.  Is there a pattern to the
bounce?  Can you predict the bounce?

Solution:  "Experiment" with bouncing balls or "research" the topic in
order to discover the ways balls bounce.

Project:  Using this knowledge you need to design one miniature golf
course hole where the ball must bounce off the sides twice before making
a hole in one.  The design should be turned into a poster or a model.
The location where the ball should bounce for a "hole-in-one" must be

Evaluation:  The grade will be based on the following:
1) A model or poster of your designed mini-golf hole.
2) A written summary of your experimentation and/or research, and design
process (2 pages maximum).
3) An oral presentation (5 minutes maximum).
The poster and oral presentation will be evaluated by your classmates as
well by the teacher.

I would welcome any suggestions or help you could give me on the project.

Dan Heath

Date: Tue, 15 Nov 1994 10:52:12 -0500 (EST)
From: Dr. Ethan
Subject: Re: new geometry project

Hey Dan,

     I am glad to hear that you are still doing neat things with
geometry. Here are a few ideas on the bouncing ball stuff.  First play pool.
That is kinda a joke but I do think that you would learn a lot if you just
sat around with a couple of balls and bounced them off the walls. (Don't bounce
them too hard, it isn't worth it to break things even in the name of science.)
Compare the angle that it hits the wall with the angle that it leaves the 
wall.  Can you find a relationship? 

     As far as the miniature golf thing goes, again I would say that the
best way might be to actually go golfing.  If you can't do that then just
draw some sample courses and using what you have learned about bouncing 
from your wall experiments, see how many bounces it would take.

     If you want to, think about these.
            _____                       ___________________
           /  * /                      /                   | 
          /    /                      /                  * |
         /    /                      /      _______________|
        /    /                      |       |
        |    |                      |       |
        |    |                      |       |
        |    |                      |       |
        |    |
        |    |
        |    |

Hope some of these ideas help. Write back if you have any more thoughts or

        Ethan, Doctor ON CAll
Associated Topics:
High School Euclidean/Plane Geometry
High School Geometry

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