I'm linking up with Joanne at Head Over Heels For Teaching for her Spark Student Motivation Saturdays. What better topic is there to match up with "spark" Saturday than ENERGY???
As you know, this is the time of year (for those of us who haven't begun summer break yet) that us teachers have to pull out all the stops to keep our students motivated. Earlier this week, I posted about a project we did in science in which we learned about potential and kinetic energy by building spool racers. (You can read that post here if you missed it!) This was a highly engaging and motivating learning activity for my kiddos and to keep the "energy" flowing (pun intended ;), I followed the spool racer activity up with Energy Rollercoasters.
Here's the deal....
Using about 6 feet of plastic tubing, masking tape and BB's, my kiddos had to construct a section of a rollercoaster on the wall to demonstrate how potential and kinetic energy and gravity move the BB through the section of track. Their coaster had to have:
- One "up" hill
- One "down" hill
- At least one loop
This picture demonstrates the ultimate goal....your BB having enough energy to make it to your cup.
When they were finished, the students sketched out their layout, identified the point of greatest potential energy and the greatest kinetic energy, and filled out a reflection (which does not seem to want to load here...ugh! My computer must be ready for summer break!).
I had planned on giving the students about 20 minutes to complete their rollercoaster layouts, but because they were having so much fun with it and kept asking if they could try another design or add more loops, etc., I just let them go with it for about 45 minutes.
I just love hands-on learning and try to load these last two weeks up with lots of activity to keep students motivated and learning. I am excited to read what others bloggers do to keep a spark in their classrooms this time of year. Why don't you head on over to Head Over Heels and check some out for yourself???
Have a great long weekend!