Reflection: Diverse Entry Points Roller Coaster Simulation Lab - Section 5: Roller Coaster Simulations


At this point in the semester, students have used choice and tic-tac-toe boards to demonstrate understanding of different models of physics concepts. With this in mind, I thought it would be a good time to introduce another way for students to share authority over their learning outcomes. In this lesson, I give students three options the Plains Level (Competent), the Uphill Level (Proficient) and the Mountain Top Level (Highly Proficient). I ask students to choose the option that they think best corresponds to their current competency level. 

During this activity, I was surprised because several students chose an option that was above their current skill level. I implement this activity because I believe that the flexibility to use simulations during research to study ideal models is an essential part of learning and practicing physics.

  Student Choice
  Diverse Entry Points: Student Choice
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Roller Coaster Simulation Lab

Unit 5: Work and Energy
Lesson 14 of 15

Objective: Students will demonstrate and apply their knowledge of the concept of energy conservation by using mathematical reasoning to predict and calculate the kinetic and potential energy of a roller coaster.

Big Idea: Simulations are useful ways to model the conservation of energy in a system.

  Print Lesson
Science, Physical Science, kinetic energy (Physics), Energy (Physical Science), physics, gravitational potential energy (Physics)
  75 minutes
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