Reflection: Routines and Procedures Designing a Roller Coaster - Section 1: Engage


When it comes to computer time I use the philosophy of the  Institute for the Future.

"With touchscreens, simple programming languages, and other lowered barriers for human-computer interaction, kids are poised to gain a high level of technical proficiency. When you combine this access with the resources kids have—time, a highly plastic brain, and the freedom to experiment with new behaviors, interests, and ways of being—it is not hard to imagine a level of empowerment for kids never before seen in human history." 

In this lesson the students design and test a simulated roller coaster. The first thing I do is allow the students to "play" with the technology before they are required to record any data or observations. This "play" time allows them time for critical learning. They are learning how to manipulate the computer and use the interface of the program. I admit that this drives my technology director batty, but when it is structured play and the kids aren't in free time, they almost always make good decisions about their time. 

  Let Kids Play
  Routines and Procedures: Let Kids Play
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Designing a Roller Coaster

Unit 2: Generating Energy
Lesson 2 of 5

Objective: SWBAT use a roller coaster simulation to design a roller coaster using potential and kinetic energy transfers.

Big Idea: Looking for a fun way to helps students understand how engineers use potential and kinetic energy transfers? This lesson simulates a roller coaster and helps students understand the physics behind the fun.

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