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Building Roller Coasters at Trinity

Roller coasters were being assembled in Promise Circle before spring break. The Honors Algebra II class had a hands-on project that made for experiential learning. (Other math classes had the same assignment but we caught the fun photos of this class.)

The first challenge was for students, working in small groups, to design a roller coaster on graph paper by using at least three of the various functions they have learned thus far (linear, absolute value, square root, quadratic, cubic) in what is known as a "piece-wise" function. 

After designing it, they needed to analyze it by responding to various questions their teacher, Ms. Sally Leon, had crafted for them.  Then they were given different questions to answer while analyzing the roller coasters of other student groups. 

Finally, they constructed a track for a marble to traverse, and WOW! They didn't build just one, but two coasters. Students set the marbles in motion and each landed in a cup at the end of their run almost simultaneously! Ms. Leon said, "They did an amazing job!  It was so cool!  What we did today did not really connect with the textbook functions they had designed, but it was problem-solving in another form."

 

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