During the roller coaster unit, students will experience many failures. In this Business Report, I describe why I feel it is important to create a classroom environment where students feel safe to learn from failures.
In this video from Discovery Education, Myth Busters investigate the story of a flight attendant that survived a free fall of 33,000 when her plane was bombed. The lesson that accompanies the video applies the scientific method to the Myth Busters investigation. I use this video and lesson as an introduction to the egg drop lesson. Students apply the lesson to the design of their egg vessel and parachute.
Electronic templates of the paper roller coasters that I use with the STEM: EDA roller coaster lesson are available for $19.95. The color photos and folding instructions were very helpful for my students.
Science of Disney Imagineering App: Roller Coaster Ride Builder is another great on-line virtual roller coaster builder. The scientific principles behind roller coaster design are reinforced with built in videos. Students can share their roller coaster designs and teachers have the ability to track progress. On-line class access for 100 students is available for $19.99.
Coaster Creator from Jason.org is virtual roller coaster builder that allows students to experiment with roller coaster design before building the hands-on model. I particularly like the potential and kinetic energy formula that is displayed throughout the ride. Teachers can request a free trial from www.jason.org. On-line class access to all Jason.org content for 20 students is available for $260.00.
STEM: EDA is available at no cost to teachers. Teachers need only to request access through the curricula access portal. A student favorite is the Apply roller coaster lesson. In this lesson, students will develop and present a business plan for a roller coaster they will design. My students also enjoy the Discover egg drop lesson. In this lesson, students design a vessel and parachute that can protect an egg from a fall. Explore, Discover, and Apply these great lessons to your classroom!