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Javelin take-off angle and throw distance Featured science projectScience project video


The materials required for this science fair project:

-    A football field
-    3 javelins
-    3 athletes who have been trained in javelin throws
-    A 100 meter measuring tape
-    A DVD video-recorder
-    A DVD disc
-    A portable DVD player with screen (or a DVD player plus a television screen)
-    An assistant
-    A cameraman
-    A protractor


1.    For this science fair project, the independent variable is the javelin take-off angle, i.e. 20°, 25°, 30°, 35°, 40° and 45°.  The dependent variable is the distance traveled by the javelin. This is determined by using a measuring tape to measure the distance traveled by the javelin after each throw.  The constants (control variables) are the weight of the javelin and the strength of the athlete.

2.    The 3 participants are made to perform some warm-up exercises before the recording of the javelin throws. At the same time, the cameraman will set up the video camera at a suitable and safe position where footage showing the angles of the javelin thrown can be captured. The assistant will help to measure the distance the javelin is thrown.

3.    The participants attempt 5 throws each at 20°, 25°, 30°, 35°, 40° and 45° angles. However, it may be difficult to control the actual angle of release during a throw. Therefore, the throws made by the participants will be recorded and the distance of the throw closest to the required angle will be used. To avoid inaccurate results due to fatigue, the athletes should be made to rest between each set of 5 throws.

4.    After all the participants have completed their 30 javelin throws and the results have been measured and recorded, the DVD disc will be played back to measure the actual angle of release. The distance achieved in each javelin throw for each required angle of release is recorded in the table given below.

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Complexity level:
Project cost ($):
Time required:
1 hour to prepare, 1 day for this science project
Material availability:
Speak to your Physical Education teacher to arrange for the javelins and measuring tape to be borrowed for the purposes of this science project
Safety concerns:

Take care to stand at a clear distance away from the trajectory of the javelin during the javelin throws. Javelins should be thrown only by experienced athletes.  This experiment should be supervised by your physical education teacher.