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- SCIENCE CENTER
Tennis Ball Cannon
Get medieval with a tennis ball! This exhibit uses kid power to launch a tennis ball up to 200 feet.
Visitors use a handle to ratchet up a heavy weight. Each click of the handle lifts the weight five centimeters. At any point, visitors can press the release arm to let the weight fall.
When the falling weight reaches the final 12 inches of its travel, it becomes a piston, compressing air which blows the tennis ball out through the clear launch tube. The initial velocity of the tennis ball (and consequently its range) depends on the energy imparted to it by the falling weight. The launch angle is continuously adjustable over a wide range.
The version shown is portable and can be used outdoors. All controls are wheelchair-accessible.