Reflection: Problem-based Approaches Skate Park Energy - Section 3: Mouse Sized Roller Coaster


Most student groups are able to navigate the mouse-size roller coaster activity successfully. I think the simulation is a good starter for the concept of conservation of energy and the simple numbers used for the mini-roller coaster make the concept easy to apply.

One of the problems that I see spring up is the correct application of units, as seen on the student work. Also a problem that some of the less mathematically skills groups run into is solving the kinetic energy equation for velocity. Having encountered this problem, I learned to write the kinetic energy equation on the board already solved for v. I put it over to the side where it is not obvious and when a groups asks about it, I simply point over to that solution. 

  Problem-based Approaches: student work
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Skate Park Energy

Unit 3: Energy
Lesson 1 of 16

Objective: Students learn the concepts of kinetic and potential energy as they explore a skateboard simulation.

Big Idea: Energy is conserved and changes from one type to another.

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