Bowling with Momentum


Today we are going on a field trip to a bowling alley: we will be bowling with momentum! Momentum is defined as the tendency of an object that is moving to continue moving.

How do you find momentum?

You find momentum by multiplying mass times speed:

momentum = mass x speed

In the case of my bowling ball, I saw on the TV screen above my head that my bowling ball was moving down the lane at 16 miles per hour. My bowling ball was 10 pounds. So the momentum was 160 pounds-miles/hour.

Bowling Experiment (video)

This post contains affiliate links. I was compensated for my work in writing this post.

We have been learning about momentum from Christian Kids Explore Physics by Bright Ideas Press, and this is one of the hands-on activities in the book. As you can see in the video, less speed or a lighter ball will decrease momentum. More speed or a heavier ball will increase momentum and be more likely to knock the pins down.


When my kids were toddlers, they would roll the bowling ball down the lane, and it sometimes stopped halfway down the lane because it lacked momentum. You need to give a ball enough speed so that the ball has enough momentum to keep going forward.

If the child had used more force (to increase the speed of the ball), it would probably not have come to a complete stop. (A heavier ball would have helped, too, but my toddlers could barely lift the lightest ball!)


Why not go to a bowling alley this week and see if you can increase the momentum of your bowling ball and improve your score?

I agree to have my personal information transfered to MailChimp (more information)
Join our occasional newsletter for new articles, videos, encouragement, a Bible crafts e-book, & more!
We hate spam. Your email address will not be shared with anyone else.

Tags: , , , , ,

14 Responses to “Bowling with Momentum”

  1. My kids like to bowl and we don’t do it often enough. Guess we should head out this winter and give this a try!

  2. Deb says:

    You make learning so much fun!

  3. Shayla says:

    We have a bowling alley down the road from us and I just found out how affordable it is. I’m really excited to take the kids. I’ll have them watch this before we go!

  4. Celeste says:

    We haven’t been bowling in ages and I am terrible at it!

  5. Charlene says:

    We love going on family fun days and field trips, but they’re especially fun when you can tie learning, such as this momentum and bowling activity, into your activity. Great idea!

  6. We are a family of bowlers, here. This experiment is a little too advanced for my daughter right now, but I can’t wait to start teaching her when she’s a little older. A great experiment to go along with this lesson, too!

  7. I haven’t been bowling in ages! When this social distancing ends, I’ll be taking my daughter bowling. She has been asking to go.

Leave a Reply