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Phase 4: Applying Knowledge

Phase 4: Applying Knowledge

A roller coaster construction project takes place outside of class time.

It's time to take all this new knowledge and pent-up excitement about loops, batwings, and camelbacks and make something! While the language arts and social studies teachers continue with phase 3 activities, the math and science teachers team up during phase 4 to facilitate a roller coaster construction project.  The students receive a home project assignment: use inexpensive materials and build a coaster that has at least four coaster design elements and meets other performance criteria.

The At-Home Roller Coaster project is assigned in the science classroom. Students use the maquette from their mini-engineering experience to build the first four elements of their roller coaster model to scale. Student make adjustments in the design as needed, documenting changes in their project journal.  This allows students to see that design changes are needed to produce working models. Students have two weeks to complete the task.

Students assess whether they meet design criteria.  When students bring in their project to class, the coasters are assessed in either their math or science classes.  The two teachers conduct the same assessment during this time.  This makes the grading process more efficient and demonstrates to students the natural integration between math and science.

Phase 4: Applying Knowledge