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Rubber Band Projectile Lab


The objective of the lab is to find an angle that, when launched, will travel a certain distance (in this
case 2m).


Before beginning the experiment, the initial velocity was solved for using the equation Vyo=√(2g(y-
y2)), (with Vyo being the velocity of the projectile, y and y2 being the time, and g being gravity) in
order to determine the speed of the projectile. After finding the speed, using the equation (sin^-1((Δxg)/
Vyo^2))/2, we can find the angle that can be used to travel the exact distance needed. In the lab, the
acceleration of gravity is constant. It is also known that the distance needed to travel is 2m and the
velocity after launching the projectile is 0 m/s.


First, a paper projectile is made and shot in the air using a rubber band several times. These times are
used to find the distance, or force, the rubber band is pushed back in order to reach the closest distance
possible to 2m. Once the equations (found in Background) are solved and the angle needed to shoot the
projectile is found, you aim at the target 2m using the amount of force found in the previous step and
using the angle from the ground to the projectile.


Group Name Displacement/Distance Angle Used

AZN 10 cm 17°
C&C 200 cm 15°
XIII 45 cm 15°
Stewart & Ladies 100 cm 16°
Hogwarts A lot 80°
Seniors A lot 43°
NFL 52 cm 40°


Using the equation Vyo=√ (2g(y-y2)), we were able to find the velocity, or speed, of the projectile
while its traveling 2m. This allowed us to use the other equation, (sin^-1((Δxg)/ Vyo^2))/2, to find the
angle needed to reach exactly 2m. As it can be seen in the results, most angles found and solved by the
groups that came near the target were between 15° and 20°.

In conclusion, after using the equations (found in Background) to find the initial velocity followed by
the angle, we were able to either shoot directly at the target or near it. Two possible types of angles that
could be used to fire the projectile are a small angle and a large angle. These results can help us when
throwing objects, such as a football or a water balloon. We understand that an object will never go in a
straight line due to gravity pulling it to the center of the earth (or the ground). As a result, we have to
find the velocity or speed the object will travel and by using the above equation to find the angle in
order to hit a target precisely. However, errors in the throwing or shooting of the projectiles could be
not measuring it precisely, air resistance, objects (such as the person’s hands in this lab) in the way of
the projectile, not using the exact pull or force of the rubber band to fire, and finally the projectile not
reaching exactly 2m in the practice shots.