Reflection: Problem-based Approaches Roller Coaster Design - Day 2 - Section 3: Students Present Their Rollercoaster Design to Me


This was my first year doing this project. It did take longer than I thought it would due to students making assupmtions or not understanding the project details. I had to stop and reinstruct the class a few times and next time I will make sure that we read through rubric and project requirements as a class before students begin. I'll also display some exemplar student work from this years assignment so that students know how to organize their work ahead of time. There was a lot of erasing and reorganizing this year. 

Overall, it was an excellent project where most of the student groups successfully applied conservation of energy to design a roller coaster. I love to give students open-ended assignments as it give them the freedom to create something new and original. This provides motivation to many of the students to give full effort as they get to apply not only their imaginations, but also their artistic skills. 

I proudly display many of the roller coasters on the bulletin board out in the hall, along with the rubric and Roller Coaster Project Poster. I ran out of space and had to tape additional projects next to the bulletin board as I wanted to display most all of the projects!

The student work example below is also especially significant to me. This two students choose to honor me as their design was based on my handicap. It is creative and fun and I love it!

  Problem-based Approaches: Project reflection
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Roller Coaster Design - Day 2

Unit 3: Energy
Lesson 8 of 16

Objective: Students design their own roller coasters and calculate important aspects of the ride like velocities, work and power of the motor, and braking force.

Big Idea: For a closed system energy is conserved, changing from one form of energy to other forms of energy.

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