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Do aluminum and wooden baseball bats, when swung at the same speed, produce the same ball distance?Featured science projectScience project video

Abstract

This science fair project was undertaken to compare the performance of aluminum and wooden baseball bats if the bats were to be swung at the same speed.

Hypothesis

The distance traveled by the ball will be the same if an aluminum bat and a wooden bat is swung at the same speed.

Scientific Terms

Center of gravity

Background

Baseball bats were originally made from wood. However the wooden bats have one big disadvantage - they break fairly easily and send splinters flying. Aluminum bats were introduced in the 1970s and were initially adopted by the Little League and later by the amateur leagues.

Wooden bats are heavy and therefore allows a batter to hit the ball harder. The harder the bat and the faster the swing, the harder the ball will be hit and the further it will fly. The center of gravity of the wooden bat is located further away from the hand making it feel heavy near the end. Wooden bats are also better for the batter’s hand because they produce less vibration.

Aluminum bats are light in weight and hollow on the inside. These bats are easier to control. Their lightness also means the batter will require less time to execute the swing. The center of gravity of the aluminum bat is closer to the hand,

For an experienced player, the wooden bat is packed with more power and this allows the player to drive his ball further. Aluminum bats, on the other hand, are easier to use and provide the batter some additional time to adjust the swing.

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Complexity level:
8
Project cost ($):
50
Time required:
1 hour to prepare, 1 day for science fair project
Material availability:
Access to a baseball pitching machine
Safety concerns:

Sports safety rules should be followed. An adult should supervise the experiment.