Introduction

Do you ever wonder how the National Basketball Association (NBA) decides how much air should be in the basketballs used during a game? The NBA measures the pressure inside the ball in units of pounds per square inch, or psi. In this activity, you will experiment with the amount of air in a basketball, but you will use the units scientists use to measure pressure called kilopascals, or kPa. We will vary the amount of pressure in the ball, then use Go!Motion to measure how high the ball bounces.

Objectives

In this activity, you will

  • Record what happens to the bounce height of a basketball as you vary the pressure of the air inside it.
  • Graph your data.
  • Draw conclusions based on your data.