Results of Impact Studies
by The Comets (Ms. Carter’s class, Pueblo Elementary, Scottsdale Arizona)

Before We Did the Experiment

1) We wondered and worried:

    How deep would each rock go?--Taylor
    Was the sand going to blow up in our faces when we dropped the rocks?--Sarah
    Which rock would do the most damage?--Gina
    How high would the flour go when we dropped the rock?--Taylor
    How badly would the rocks hurt if they hit our fingers?--Gina
2) We had some hypotheses:

    a) If the rock was at 180 cm., then it would make a bigger hole (crater).--Tyler
    b) If we drop bigger rocks, they will make a bigger hole in the ground.--Sarah
    c) If we drop bigger rocks, they will create bigger ejecta.--Taylor
    d) If we drop from higher in the air, they will make bigger ejecta.--Gina

During the Experiment (All students helped explain this):

1) Materials we used:
    kitty litter
    boards (180 cm long)
    sticks and leaves (optional)
    plastic containers to hold our “landscapes”
    rubber bands (a little at the end)
    Newspaper (to protect the floor)
    Data sheets (prepared by the teacher)

2) Procedures we used:

    1) Made a landscape in the containers with the following layers: sand (bottom),
        kittly litter (middle), flour (top)
    2) Put sticks in the layers to make it look like a landscape.
    3)  Measured the boards and wrote where they were 30 cm., 60 cm., 90 cm., 120 cm., 150 cm., and 180 cm..
    4) Measured length and width of our rocks and we named them.
    5) Dropped the rocks, from 30, 60, 90, 120, 150 and 180 cm.
    6) Measured depth, diameter and ejecta from each rock.

After the Experiment
1) We collected data and graphed it in bar graph form.  We did both individual and and a gouped graph (which added al the numbers for each rock).  Data has already been submitted.
2) We compared the results:
    a) Big Daddy had the biggest ejecta (overall)
    b) Dragon had the biggest diameter (overall)
    c) Smegal had the biggest depth (overall)
    d) Smegal and Little Mama had the similar depth (overall)
    e) Midget and Dragon had the same depth (overall)
    f) Dragon and Little Mama had the same ejecta (overall)
    g) Midget had the smallest diameter and ejecta (overall)
    h) Big Daddy had the smallest depth (overall)

3) We discussed the results:
    Some students say there was no connection between rock size and the damage they did.  However, one student noted that there was a pattern; usually, bigger rocks did more damge, but there were some exceptions.
    Amazingly, Big Daddy (the largest rock) had the smallest depth.  We believe this is because Big Daddy was a very flat rock, and we dropped it on its flat side.
    Midget was another exception.  It made deep holes because it was “tall”/long and pointy.  Midget’s shape helped it to poke holes like an arrow would.

4) How this relates to asteroids:
    Most students believe that we should be more scared of the big asteroids.  However, we noticed that little ones can do a lot of damage, too.   (It depends on how they’re shaped.)

5) Final conclusion:
You shouldn’t judge a rock by its size.