# Volleyball Science Project Ideas

Instructor: Kerry Gray

Kerry has been a teacher and an administrator for more than twenty years. She has a Master of Education degree.

Whether played competitively or just for fun, volleyball is a popular team sport with a surprising number of scientific concepts behind it. This resource provides ideas for science projects with volleyball themes.

## Volleyball Science

Athletic students will love the opportunity to learn about science through the game of volleyball. The following projects offer interesting ways to engage students with hands-on science exploration related to volleyball.

## Optimum Inflation

Time: 1-2 days

### Guiding Question

• What is the ideal pressure for an inflated volleyball?

### Materials:

• air pump
• butcher paper
• camera
• computer/internet
• meter stick
• pressure gauge
• volleyballs

### Procedure:

• To prepare for this experiment, students will need to use a meter stick to create an extended measuring device on butcher paper that is 7-8 meters tall. The measuring device will need to be taped against a wall.
• An air pump and pressure gauge will be used to inflate 5 different volleyballs to 3.5 psi, 4.0 psi, 4.5 psi, 5.0 psi, and 5.5 psi. Volleyballs must be numbered for differentiation. The psi for each ball should be recorded.
• Students will practice hitting each of the volleyballs with an overhand serve. Based on their experience, students will hypothesize which of the volleyballs is inflated to the regulation standards.
• From a fixed height, such as the top of bleachers or an adult standing at the top of a ladder, each ball will be dropped 3 times. A camera in a fixed position will record the height of the rebound against the measuring device. Students will review the photographs to create a chart indicating the rebound heights of each ball.
• Data will be transferred to a bar chart so that students can visually see the relationship between psi and rebound height. Students will have an opportunity to change their hypothesis about which ball meets regulation standards.
• Using internet research, students will find the regulation standard for volleyball inflation and write a paragraph explaining why they think this standard was chosen based on their data.

## Velocity

Time: 2-3 days

### Guiding Question

• What is the velocity of a volleyball during an overhand serve?

### Materials:

• computer/internet
• floor marking tape
• meter stick
• volleyball
• volleyball net
• timer

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