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The aim of this investigation is to investigate a factor which affects the length of the jump of a skier from a ramp using a model of a ski jump as shown.

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Hannah Proctor 3PAW

Practical Assessment – The ski jump.


        The aim of this investigation is to investigate a factor which affects the length of the jump of a skier from a ramp using a model of a ski jump as shown.


        H1 = the vertical height.

        H2 = the vertical drop once the skier leaves the ramp.

Results of preliminary trials.

        I conducted some preliminary trials to establish the range over which the variables will change here are my results.

Height in cm above starting point

Distance in cm travelled









I only recorded these readings once but from these results I can see a mean increase of 2⅔. I have decided to vary H1 (the vertical height of ramp) and record L (length of jump) to do this I will use a spirit level to ensure the level piece of wood is level, a metre long ruler calibrated in centimetres to measure the cm intervals and some sand for the tray to mark where the skier lands.


        I will release the skier from the ramp, measuring from the back of the marble, observe where in the sand it lands and record in relation to the height from which it was released. I will measure with a metre ruler calibrated in centimetre divisions to three significant figures. (As accurate as the ruler will allow)

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        I should be able to measure the distance from x to the landing point to ± half a scale division, which is one millimetre, however I may not be able to achieve this degree of accuracy using only my eye. So I think that ±2mm is probably more accurate. The crater formed when the marble lands in the sand is also going to cause me a problem, I may not be able to determine where the end of the crater is as it may have been slightly mangled as the marble flies over it.

        I will use a spirit level to ensure that x is completely horizontal beyond any reasonable doubt, also I will practice the release technique once or twice to get a clean release that won’t come off the end of the slope at an angle, as this may obscure my results. I will try to avoid parallax error by reading the ruler from eye level. I will repeat three times for each height at H1 and record the mean value.

        To maintain the safety of myself and others around me I will limit the height of H1 to a maximum of 25 cm to prevent the skier reaching excessive distances that cant be measured I will maintain a clear working area and ensure there are no interfering fellow students in the way of my projectile and experiment.

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so for any value of x, y can be determined by the equation:



        My readings were taken three times so a reliable average could be taken, I calculated a mean value and found for each observation; deviation from the mean was minimal. The major issues surrounding my accuracy are that of the parallax error. There were other errors such as the level ness of the sand but if anything were to dramatically affect my results it was parallax error. This type of error would occur in the measurements with my ruler. And could be avoided by some method of laser accuracy instrument where the light shines on the exact point where the measurement is to be taken, however I cannot afford to use this instrument in my experiment.

        I took a mean reading of my results because if I had only taken the one set of results I could have produced a set of results very unreliable which in turn misleads me to the answer to the equation.


        In conclusion to this I can say that the equation used to find the distance travelled by the skier (y) in relation to the height of the starting point (x) is y=0.400x+15.36 where 15.36 is the constant value.

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