This is a lab meant for high school physics students. The students should know how to: use the kinetic and potential energy equations, use the impulse equation, and draw free body diagrams.
Required Materials: A meter stick, notebook paper and a bouncy ball for each group. There also needs to be a way for the groups to find the mass of the bouncy ball.
What the lab has them do: Essentially they will drop the bouncy ball from a known height (it varies) onto the floor and measure the rebound height (multiple times which they then average). From this they can calculate the gravitational potential energy before and after the collision with the floor and see how much is lost - and how it varies with initial drop height. (they record this in a table provided in the lab.)
Then they start adding stacks of paper on the floor and observe what happens to the rebound height of the ball. (it will decrease because the paper allows for a smaller impact force to be applied for a longer amount of time via Ft=mv)
At the end they answer 6 conceptual questions, including drawing three free-body diagrams (pre, post and during collision.)