Barbie Bungee Jump

BarbieIt’s probably been more than a few years since any of the students in Marna Eckels’ 9th grade physics class played with dolls, but they seemed willing, even eager, to throw Barbie off a cliff in the name of science.

For a review of graphing independent and dependent control variables and extrapolating from averages, the students conducted a lab called the “Barbie Bungee Jump.” Working in teams to design a “safe, yet thrilling” jumping experience for visitors to a fictional amusement park, the students predicted the number of rubber bands they would need to string together to yield the right amount of tension to snap Barbie back just before the point of impact.

As trim and stoic as ever at age 54, Barbie silently endured being tossed headfirst from the top of the Lower School stairwell, trusting her fate to the students’ math skills. No one warned her to dress appropriately, however, or to expect to have to make multiple jumps in the space of a few minutes. Barbie deserves a shout-out for courage.

Ms. Eckels goes over the lab instructions.
Ms. Eckels goes over the lab instructions.
Barbie bounces back after a jump.
Barbie bounces back after a jump.

 

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