This simple experiment can be used in open inquiry by giving students three different sized balls and a meter stick so they can design their own experiments.
Included (all black & white pages - easy to copy):
(1) teacher reference page to give students much or little guidance.
(2) pages for students to write a problem statement, hypothesis, experiment design, materials needed, procedure, data table (for independent and dependent variables), an area for a graph, and conclusion.
Some Ideas For Use: Illustrate the concept of dependent and independent variables, Introduce, reinforce, basic physics Newton's law of motion, graphing skills, scientific method, and more.
Many NGSS standards can be applied:
3-PS2-2. Motion and Stability: Forces and Interactions: Make observations and/or measurements Planning and Carrying Out Investigations
MS-PS3-2. Energy: Develop a model to describe that when the arrangement of objects interacting at a distance changes, different amounts of potential energy are stored in the system.
HS-PS2-1. Motion and Stability: Forces and Interactions: Analyze that Newton’s second law of motion describes the mathematical relationship among the net force on a macroscopic object.