Schottenbauer Publishing

Friday, January 29, 2016

Snow Sport Experiment Complements Graph Books!

Fun snow skiing science experiments can be conducted in the classroom or at home! The experiment below, featuring graphs of lab equipment on artificial slopes, illustrates concepts in books from Schottenbauer Publishing. 

Snow Sport Experiment

  • Block Toy(s)
  • Small Toy Car(s) (Matchbox or Hot Wheels)
  • Stiff Clipboards (Plastic, Cardboard, Metal)
  • Cutting Board(s) (Plastic, Wood)
  • Bendable Cardboard
  • Protractor
  • Any Book(s)
  • Postal Scale


Make an artificial slope with the clipboard, cutting board, and/or cardboard, by setting one end up on book(s) and the other end on a table or desk. Use a protractor to estimate the angle, if the surface is not curved. Weigh each of the toys, and compare surface area of contact with the slope. One by one, send the toys down the slope, and watch the projectile motion. Watch the block and/or toys fall off the edge of the desk, onto a mat or carpet to avoid damage to the toys or floor. Compare performance of several objects under several conditions.

Discussion Questions
  1. Describe the following in words:
    1. How do the trajectories (position, velocity, & acceleration) of the objects compare?
    2. How do wheels affect the trajectory (as opposed to a flat block surface)?
    3. How does mass affect the trajectory?
    4. How does surface area affect trajectory?
  2. Compare the results above with graphs and data from The Science of Snow Sports.
    1. Do any of the objects have similar properties?
    2. Do any of the surfaces have similar properties?
    3. Do any of the trajectories resemble a graph from the book series?
  3. Compare the results above with data and videos from real snow sports.
    1. How are real snow sport events similar? 
    2. How are real snow sport events different?

Additional Information