We started by tying rubber bands to the feet of a Barbie doll. The students then let her "bungee jump" off their desks and measured her jump distance. They recorded the data and graphed it as a scatterplot. Then, they used that information to create a line of best fit, first by sketching it on their graph, then by finding the actual equation using their technology of choice. The students really seemed to enjoy this activity. They were able to see the application of a math concept that they were sure didn't make any sense at first.
The final step was the big event! We called in the Commerce Fire Department to help us test our theory of how many rubber bands it would take to get Barbie as close to ground from a 30 foot drop as possible... without hitting the pavement! The ladder truck is perfect for this test! We voted as to which equation each class wanted to use as their test subject, so they had some choice as to how many rubberbands they would use. Several classes decided to test the distance by pulling it down the hallway, but when it came to the final jump, the class that trusted their equation the most and didn't have as much time to second guess themselves was the class that won! Congratulations to my 3rd period class! And a HUGE THANK YOU to the Commerce Fire Department for coming out to support us on this fun project!