Projectile Science: The Physics Behind Kicking a Field Goal and Launching a Rocket with Science Activities for Kids

Projectile Science: The Physics Behind Kicking a Field Goal and Launching a Rocket with Science Activities for Kids

by Matthew Brenden Wood, Tom Casteel

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What are the forces behind ballistics? Why do rocks and rockets soar through the air in an arch?

The game is on the line. Suddenly, you hear the crack of a bat and the roar of crowd. Where will the ball land? How far will it travel? Is it a home run?

You might think that hitting a home run or nailing a three-pointer is just luck, but there are many forces at work that determine if you’ve made a game-winning shot or the final out. If you’ve ever kicked a ball, thrown a rock, or even played Angry Birds, you’ve experimented with the forces behind ballistics.

In Projectile Science: The Physics Behind Kicking a Field Goal and Launching a Rocket with Science Activities for Kids,one of four titles in the Technology for Today set, kids ages 10 to 15 learn why projectiles follow the paths they do and what factors influence those paths. Readers who are fascinated with potato cannons, slingshots, and rocketry will love taking that next step and applying what they learn about the laws of physics to the science of figuring out where to aim.

Math is the language you use to understand the science of ballistics. In this book, readers will learn about the forces that act on the projectiles and how to calculate those forces to make educated predictions about where their homemade rockets and other projectiles will land. 25 Safe, hands-on STEAM activities using materials that are easy to acquire are a terrific way to foster real-life learning about ballistics. Kids will perform Galileo's famous test for gravity, create clinometers to measure height and distance, and build a machine that can throw curve balls.

Essential questions that promote critical examination of the science, primary sources, online videos, and science-minded engineering activities let readers have a blast learning about the physics of ballistics!

In the Technology for Today set, readers ages 10 to 15 explore the digital and tech landscapes of today and tomorrow through hands-on STEAM activities and compelling stories of how things work, who makes them work, and why. Titles in this set include Industrial Design: Why Smartphones Aren’t Round and Other Mysteries with Science Activities for Kids; Big Data: Information in the Digital World with Science Activities for Kids; Projectile Science: The Physics Behind Kicking a Field Goal and Launching a Rocket with Science Activities for Kids; and Artificial Intelligence: Thinking Machines and Smart Robots with Science Activities for Kids.

Nomad Press books integrate content with participation. Common Core State Standards, the Next Generation Science Standards, and STEM Education all place project-based learning as key building blocks in education. Combining content with inquiry-based projects stimulates learning and makes it active and alive. Nomad’s unique approach simultaneously grounds kids in factual knowledge while allowing them the space to be curious, creative, and critical thinkers.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781619306776
Publisher: Nomad Press
Publication date: 08/14/2018
Series: Nomad Press Build It Yourself Series
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 34
Sales rank: 844,289
File size: 17 MB
Note: This product may take a few minutes to download.
Age Range: 10 - 15 Years

About the Author

Matthew Brenden Wood is a math and science teacher with a passion for STEAM education. He is also an avid amateur astronomer and astrophotographer and the author of The Science of Science Fiction; Planetary Science: Explore New Frontiers; and The Space Race: How the Cold War Put Humans on the Moon. Wood holds a bachelor’s degree in astronomy from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst and lives in Phoenix, Arizona.

Table of Contents



Introduction: What Is Ballistics?


Chapter 1: What Goes Up—The Laws of Motion

Galileo's famous test of mass and gravity 

Model of horizontal and vertical movement and the

Practice with parabolas.


Chapter 2: Baseballs and Bullets—Tracking Trajectories

Compare and model the path of objects to predict where they will land

CreatE clinometers to measure height and distance

Explore ways to improve distance and accuracy


Chapter 3: Slingshots, Catapults and Canons: Going for Distance

Construct catapults, trebuchets, sling shots, and canons


Chapter 4: Curveballs and Spirals: Air Resistance

Experiment with whiffle balls

Create different amounts of spin and drag

Build a curveball-throwing pitching machine

Work with aerodynamics and stabilization of projectiles


Chapter 5: Rockets: When What Goes Up Doesn’t Come Down

Demonstrate centripetal force

Build water and air-powered rockets

Experiment with video games such as Kerbal Space Program






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