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The aim of this investigation is to ascertain the effect of weight on a child's toy in relation to how high it will bounce.

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                Tuesday, 1 May 2007

Physics Sc1: ‘Bug-up’ Toy Investigation


The aim of this investigation is to ascertain the effect of weight on a child’s toy in relation to how high it will bounce.



After playing with the toy, I looked at how it worked. It is a very simple mechanism that is shown above, consisting of a plastic base with a coiled spring wrapped around the centre. On top is a red rubber ‘sucker’ that grips to the base when you press down. The spring slowly forces the two apart and it then flies up in the air.

To find out the energy stored in a spring, you can just apply the equation for work done, replacing distance with compression. This way you get w.d.

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mass x gravity x height. In this experiment the mass will be the variable, the height will be what is measured, and the gravity will remain constant. image01.png


The method for this experiment will be simply to ‘arm’ the bug-up, and then get someone else to measure how high it flies using a metre ruler. Each time the experiment is repeated, a different mass will be used on the bug-up. To do this, I will need to remove the

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Preliminary Investigation

For my preliminary experiment, I took a coil bound spring from the physics department and broke it by taking it beyond its elastic limit. After this I then hung it from a clamp stand and attached weights to the bottom and recorded the length of the spring. I then put the spring over the clamp stand and attached weights to the top to see if the compression was the same as the extension. These are my results:


As you can see, the results are perfect. They weren’t all exactly 100% exact, but they were close enough for the purposes of this investigation. This proves that the spring works exactly the same way whether you compress it, or extend it.




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