This is the Team Tringa Ball Drop page.
Before brainstorming a design, we realized that our ball drop device would need to give the tennis ball enough horizontal momentum for it to travel a significant distance from the base of the building. Our first design involved attaching the ball to a kite made of the plastic bag, dowels, and duct tape. We immediately dismissed this idea after realizing that we couldn't throw the kite off the building. Another potential design involved rolling the ball off a ramp made of the garage sale sign, the noodle, and duct tape. We hoped this would give the ball horizontal velocity, but we realized that the ramp would only slow the ball down. Our next design involved using a slingshot to shoot the ball down the ramp. The slingshot would give the ball a larger amount of momentum, and the ramp would give the ball direction. After experimenting with this design, we decided that the ramp was an ineffective use of materials.
After much deliberation, we concluded that the most suitable design which included enough horizontal momentum and worked with the given materials was the slingshot device. We started first by making anchors out of the dowels and wrapping them in duct tape to reinforce their structure. Next we positioned them so that the width between each dowel was slightly larger than that of the tennis ball. We experimented with which angle and which width were most effective in providing maximum force. We then proceeded in testing the device at different heights, including a window on Willets' third floor. The results obtained in the trial runs were satisfactory and our best shot went as far as about 18 feet.