How to Do a Friction Science Experiment with Balls

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Friction. An important sounding word for a simple physics fact. Whenever 2 things rub together, their surfaces grab on to each other by this force called friction. Friction slows objects down when they rub against other objects. The smoother something is, the less friction there is.


In the following experiment, we will demonstrate how friction effects the tennis ball more than the smooth ball because the tennis ball is rough and fuzzy on the outside, so there is more friction when it rubs against the water. It will not be able to spin as quickly as the smooth ball.


If working with children, allow them to do as many steps as possible on there own as they can. This feeds their love of learning and helps them gain self confidence.

Things You'll Need

  • A bowl
  • Enough water to fill the bowl
  • A tennis ball
  • A smooth rubber ball
  • Fill the bowl half way with water. Put the smooth ball into the water and give it a spin. Discuss and record your observation.

  • Put the tennis ball into the water and give it a spin. Discuss and record your observation.

  • Discuss which ball spins faster. Try spinning both balls in the bowl at the same time. Record your observations.

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