The Air-Powered Projectile uses compressed air as fuel to power its launch. One of four thrust washers (sizes Low, Medium, High, and Super) is pressed onto the top of the launcher and the projectile slides down the launching tube. Air is pumped into the launcher with the air pump. When it reaches the pressure needed to launch the projectile, the thrust washer is forced off the launching tube, sending the projectile into the air. Students will launch the projectile vertically and find the launch velocity. They will use that velocity to predict the projectile's range for a given launch angle.
Acknowledgements: Thank you to Stephen Rea for his assistance in developing this lab. Stephen is a 25 year veteran physics teacher at Plymouth High School in Michigan. You can also find him presenting at State and NSTA National Conferences.