Physical Science Activity
How Fast Can You Pitch?
- Imagine yourself pitching a tennis ball to a partner a distance
12 meters at a speed so that your partner can catch the ball which you
throw to him/her. Predict how fast you throw the ball (use
or m/s for the speed units).
- Do it!
- Obtain the following items:
- ruler (meter stick)
- tennis ball
- digital stop watch
- Go outside and measure the suggested distance.
least 3 people to a group, measure the speed that each person can
throw the ball such that the 2nd person can catch it. The third
in the group works the timer. Record at least 3 trials for each
and record the results in your notebook similar to the table
Note: record only the throws which are caught by the catcher in the
group! The cells are blocked out so you will get into the habit
of recording data in your own notes.
||Time (trial 1)
||Time (trial 2)
||Time (trial 3)
Hard Throw! Now comes the fun part! Instead of
someone catch your tossed ball, you get to throw it as hard as you can
(don’t throw your arm out!) outdoors against the brick wall.
- Decide how to calculate the average speed for each thrower.
use the units of speed (meter/sec) to decide how to calculate the
- Compare your average speed with your prediction.
- Calculate your speed in miles/hour. See your text and the
- After you calculate the speeds for your data, enter everyone’s
the whole class in a spreadsheet and make the calculations in the
It will help if you place a data table on a marker board in the
- Predict your hard throwing speed.
- Measure your throwing speed using the same techniques as
should use 6 meters as your distance.
- Enter everyone’s data in another spreadsheet and make the
from m/s into mi/hr.