Special topics spotlight: Target Ball

Published 09 October 2018

Target Ball is a Year 1 unit of the special topic Mathematical Inquiry Into Authentic Problems. Students are asked to advise their sports teacher on how to set up for "Target Ball", a game where players roll balls towards a fixed target, and the player whose ball is closest to the target wins. Working from the central question "How far does a ball roll?", students will consider:

  • What type of ball should be used?
  • How can we measure the distance the ball rolls?
  • What is a useful unit of measurement?
  • Where should the target be positioned? Is its position fair?

The unit explores the real-world implications of students' findings and emphasises the importance of repeated experimentation and refinement. Students will also become more comfortable working with informal units and making inferences.

The Target Ball unit can be downloaded here. We would love to hear about your experiences with the unit at mbi@science.org.au!