Thank you for everyone who had responded. I figured that the rotational
inertia and friction would play a factor, but I was hoping that it wouldn't
play that big of a factor.
At my school, we don't have photogates...unfortunately. I was hoping to be
able to do without them.
I do like the idea of "Newton's golf" by John Denker
(http://www.av8n.com/physics/img48/golf.png) and plan on testing out that
idea. Can anyone suggest where I might be able to find large metal ball
bearings? If I can't find metal balls, I may test it using golf balls. Any
I also like Stacy Kissel's suggestion of placing hoops through the path of
the projectile. That would be an interesting activity.
For those who do this lab (preferably without photogates), would you mind
emailing me your lab? If I do use it (or part of it), I do give credit to
those people. My direct email is: email@example.com
Also, if anyone is looking for ideas of some activities, check out my
website (below) and click on "Science Conference Lessons". These are just
some of the things we do in class.