For squash enthusiasts, there’s probably nothing more educational or fun during a COVID-19 lockdown than investigating the physical properties of squash balls. Take the following practical lesson based on a 2019 physics GCSE examination paper set by the Welsh Joint Education Committee (or Cyd-bwyllgor Addysg to the Welsh-speakers amongst you). The lesson explains how to measure the effect of temperature on the rebound height of a squash ball. All you’ll need is a one-metre rule (clamped upright), a thermometer, a beaker, hot water, a squash ball, a pair of tongs to handle the ball, safety goggles and a kitchen.
Coincidentally, Wales is currently in the middle of a 17-day COVID-19 lockdown so, for Welsh residents, there’s really no excuse for not having a crack at this simple piece of physics. You’ve got one hour to complete the experiment.
Oh, hang on. I’ve just noticed that the kind of squash ball to be used in the investigation isn’t specified so I suppose you might as measure the rebound heights for all four World Squash standard balls. Better make it four hours then.
Your time starts…now!
P.S. You can check your findings here.
P.P.S. For US students, GCSE is the equivalent of Grade 10.