Bungee Barbie

I know many people have talked about this activity for algebra 1 students.  I have done it for two years and I absolutely love it.  The ultimate goal is to figure out how many elastic bands it will take to drop barbie from the top of the stairs in our back hallway without hurting barbie and yet still giving her a fun ride.  I have modified several different worksheets that people have made, including the one from illuminations to make it fit what I want to teach the kids.  The goal of the activity is for students to see how linear regression can be applied in a real life situation.  I want the students to understand what the y-intercept and slope mean in the context of the problem.  Most importantly, I love that the students see that learning can be fun.  It is neat that the students from previous years come into my class excited for this one particular activity.  Here are some of the links that explain this activity:




This is the worksheet that I use for the project.  It is a compilation of worksheets from the above sites:    Barbie Bungee Activity


7 thoughts on “Bungee Barbie

  1. HI!
    I enjoyed reading your blog about Barbie Bungee, and sent myself the mathlab link, I hadn’t seen that one before! I also commented on your post on the MTBoS blog, I think I messed up and posted there instead of here, so I’m posting here too! OOPS. If you don’t get to go back and read that post, I was wondering if you would like to share the worksheets you made for your classes. If you would, and would like to email them to me, my email is: dboden@conejousd.org. Thank you in advance and keep up the good work!

    • I am so glad you found this helpful! I added the worksheet file to the post. It is basically the worksheet from illuminations but since our school focuses on writing in all content areas, I added in the proposal with a very simple rubric.

    • And then I replied to your comment on the MTBoS blog. I am cutting and pasting the reply here, where it should be.

      Thank you so much for replying. As I start this blogging, I will always try to share worksheets. I use a lot of worksheets made by kutasoftware. This year I hope not to have to make so many because we are using Carnegie. At the same time, the Carnegie materials are very challenging for most of my students so I have to find ways to scaffold it so that it is accessible for them. I will post whatever I do. 🙂

      The class of 5 is not technically a special education class, but is is composed of five special education students. It just worked in the schedule to have them together in my class because they are in a language program for 3 classes of the day and we couldn’t find a way to separate them for math. One of the students has Down’s Syndrome and is learning how to count and add simple numbers. She has a para who mainly works with her. The other students are no where near grade level, but we try to teach a parallel curriculum to them so that they are learning what the other students are learning- just at a simpler level.

      • Wow, that must be an interesting class to teach. Did your school buy the Kuta software? I’ve been thinking about getting it but I think I’d have to buy it. Do you like it? Have a great week!

  2. This activity sounds great! I’m also a physics teacher and this seems like an activity that could work for those classes as well. Do you find that the rubber bands you buy are all similar (in size and stretchiness) or do you have to sort through them to find ones that can work?

    • That was a great question about the elastic bands. The first year I used a rubber band ball and they were all different. It really messed up our data. The second year I bought bags of elastics that were all the same width. I tried to buy the least stretchy kind because the first time Barbie kept hitting the floor after only a few elastic bands.

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