Using Barbie to Apply Algebra to Real Life

Using Barbie to Apply Algebra to Real Life
Posted on 12/12/2018
Students on Bleachers

Using Barbie to Apply Algebra to Real Life

            Algebra I students at Merriwether Middle School simulated a bungee jump using Barbie dolls and rubber bands. 

            The object of the activity was to determine how many rubber bands it would take for Barbie to safely jump a distance of 400 centimeters. Students added two rubber bands at a time and measured the distance that Barbie jumped in centimeters. The students graphed the data in a scatter plot and created a line of best fit. They also used the graphing calculator to write the linear regression equation of the line. Then they compared the two equations and answered questions about the slope and y-intercept in the context of the experiment. “I learned so much through the hands-on working while doing the Barbie bungee drop. It also helped me to practice the equations we have been learning,” shared Brendan Doyle.  

            LaThomas Wakefield enthusiastically said, “What I liked most about the Barbie bungee jump was when the distance of the fall increased, then the Barbie would fall faster and would come back up with an increase.”

            Algebra I teacher Cindy Grose explained, “My hope is that this experiment showed a real life application of Algebra by seeing how linear equations can be used to predict information. At the beginning of the activity they guessed how many rubber bands it would take to jump 400 centimeters. After they found their equations, they were able to more accurately predict this information algebraically.”           

Left to Right: Top: Madison Thompson, LaThomas Wakefield, Keith Crase, TJ Willis, Aiden Bass, and Ethan Chastain. Left to Right: Bottom: Amauri Williams, Brendan Doyle, Tyler Prescott, Harlie Dalzell, Dillon Gore, and Ryan Lowe.

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