Science Project: Measure Your Reaction Time Viewed: 3509
Return To Project List Printable View

Measure Your Reaction Time

A simple physics experiment that can be used to measure your reaction time.

What You Need:

  1. A Yard Stick

What To Do:

Have one child stand on a stool or stable chair and hold the yard stick with two fingers on the top - have the 36 inch mark of the yard stick at the top.

Now have the second child pinch two fingers around the yard stick about half way down but don't touch the stick. Note the inch mark where the childs fingers are.

Without warning the child holding the yard stick should let go and the other child should quickly pinch the stick (catching it).

Note the inch mark where there fingers are. Calculate the distance between the first reading and the position the child caught the yard stick.

Example - Child had fingers ready to pinch at the 18 inch mark. After it was released and they caught it - their fingers where at the 20 inch mark - it traveled 2 inches.

Do this several times to get an average.  The children should change roles and have a competition to see who has the fastest reaction time.

Here's a table to calculate the reaction time.

distance dropped reaction time
2 inches 0.10 seconds
4 inches 0.14 seconds
6 inches 0.18 seconds
8 inches 0.20 seconds
10 inches 0.23 seconds
12 inches 0.25 seconds
14 inches 0.27 seconds
16 inches 0.29 seconds
18 inches 0.31 seconds