Baseball and Air
Subject Area: Algebra
Grade Level: 8
- Represent and analyze
relationships using tables, verbal rules, equations, and graphs.
- Make and test conjectures.
- Express mathematical
ideas orally and in writing.
- Technology research
tools: Use content-specific tools, software and simulations (e.g.,
environmental probes, graphing calculators, exploratory environments,
Web tools) to support learning and research; select and use appropriate
tools and technology resources to accomplish a variety of tasks and
and Decision-Making Tools - Routinely and efficiently use on-line
information resources to meet needs for collaboration, research, publications,
communications, and productivity.
the explanation given below, use CurveBall to complete the activity to determine
how the speed of airstreams changes in relation to changes in the distance
of the airstream from the center of the baseball.
CurveBall is an interactive
simulation software package that examines the aerodynamics of throwing a
big league curve ball. As you change parameters such as speed, rotation on the ball,
release point and angle, and atmospheric conditions,
the software calculates the side force on the ball and the resulting trajectory.
The package was created at the NASA
Glenn Research Center.
CurveBall is a Java applet program that executes inside the browser of your computer.
It is available on the World Wide Web at
You can also
download the program to run off-line.
Shown below is a screen
shot from the program's controls and displays. You may change the values
of the variables by using the slider or the input box on the left of the
To use the slider:
- Click the mouse
pointer on the arrows at the ends of the slider.
- Click the mouse
pointer anywhere between the slider and the arrow.
- Drag the slider
with the mouse.
To use the input
Simply select the
value in the input box, key in the new value, and press Enter or Tab when
finished. The button on the slider will move corresponding to the value
typed in the box.
To begin the problem,
click on The Baseball and Air.
You, or you
and your partner(s), will be evaluated on the feasibility or accuracy
of your answers.
be able to use CurveBall to complete the activity to determine the relationship
between the airstreams and their distance from the center of the baseball
by completing a chart and graphing and interpreting the results.
Submitted by: Dalette
Dawson, Brunswick High School, Brunswick, Ohio.