Barbie Bungee Lesson 1
Students will collect and present data for dropping a Barbie (or other object) from a set height using rubber bands in order to make predictions.
The teacher should find videos showing different bungee jumps to get students thinking about variables and safety concerns in bungee jumping. After viewing videos, ask students, "If Barbie were going to bungee jump in the 'south stairwell' (tall location in your school), what are some variables to consider so she can predict how long to make the cord? She wants the longest jump that still keeps her safe." Discussion might include knowing how heavy or tall a person is, how much the cord stretches, how high the jump point is, and other variables. As discussion wraps up, explain the task below to students.
"Barbie will be attached to several rubber bands and dropped from a fixed height in [a pre-determined location and height in your room or building]." (Stairwells, foyers, or ladders work well. The teacher will need to determine location and height before beginning the activity! Do not share with students until they are ready to make their prediction.)
Place students in groups of 3 or 4. Each group needs to decide as a group how they will drop and measure the distance Barbie falls. Remind students that the data they collect will be used for the next several days to determine their prediction of how many rubber bands will provide Barbie the longest, but still safe, bungee jump. Students will work through the Lesson 1 Activity Sheet in their groups.
The activity sheet is intended for students to work through in groups. The teacher is walking around and listening to the group discussions. Prompt and cue with ideas or questions to check for and deepen student understanding.
Here are some questions you could ask students as they are working in groups:
If time permits, students can share graphs with the class, or make a large graph to display in the room.
At the end of the lesson, have student groups share:
Leave your thoughts in the comments below.
Wish we did this when I was in school!
Tried Lesson 1 with my middle school students and it went great.
CCSS, Content Standards to specific grade/standard
CCSS, Standards for Mathematical Practices
PtA, highlighted Effective Teaching Practice and/or Guiding Principle CCSS