Sunday, May 8, 2016

Lego Racecars!

The end of the year is upon us, and what a crazy, fun time of the year it is! Being a fifth grade teacher can be really tough, knowing I won't be able to see my students the next school year. I am soaking up every minute with them! I was inspired (once again) by Hope King. I wanted to have my students engaged in a multi-day math activity that reviewed a lot of the skills we learned this year. Being form Indianapolis, the Indy 500 is right around the corner, so why not have our own mini Indy 500!

The set up was overall pretty simple. I based my track on the one Hope posted on her Instagram (thank you for the tips on how to make it!). I went to Lowes and got all the materials I needed to make the track, it cost all of about $25 for it. Super easy, it was foam insulation board and pipe wrap! Other than the board, I needed to get Legos, and decorations which all came from Party City!

Day #1 is where the fun began! I welcomed my students to the Nora International Speedway and explained how the next 3 days would work. I wanted a quick way to partner them up, so I created cards with the numbers 1-12 on them and when they drew their number they found their partners for the activity. Easy peasy! 

Once they were partnered off, they were handed a bag of Legos with no other instructions and needed to make a lego car they would use for time trials on Tuesday. Other than Legos, they could use balloons and pipe cleaners. They were given no instructions on how to make it, this is where the magic happened.  We had a lot of different cars being built with a lot of teamwork. The entire first day was building and rebuilding their cars.

Day #2, TIME TRIALS DAY! The pit crew was busy making their final tweaks to their cars before they raced them on the track for the first time. On this day, each of the 12 teams raced their cars 4 times and in between each trial, they were able to make changes to help their cars go faster. I called them up team by team to race once then go back and make changes, while the time trials were happening, everyone else was working on their cars. Once they were done with their time trials, they were to analyze their teams data by finding the mean, median, mode, and range. 

Day #3, it's RACE DAY! With the sounds of the Indy 500 race cars welcoming them into the classroom Speedway! 

Two different things happened on Race Day:

1. Each team had 3 runs, each timed, for data collecting.
2. Race time! We had 3 heats to get our final four, then the checkered flag waved!

For the data collecting piece, students recorded every team's time for the data analyzing they would be asked to do after the race.

When all of the times had been recorded, the timer was put away and the races began! I had predicted on the heats and what teams would be in each. The winner of each heat would compete in the finals! My room was loud and the cheers and chants made multiple people stop into my room to see what was going on! The winner won by a landslide.

I wish I could show the faces of my students! The one at the top pretty much says it all!
As soon as the checkered flag waved, students began analyzing the data by answering three questions I had prepared for the students. This part required them to use many skills we learned in fifth grade,

-mean, median, mode, range
-adding and subtracting decimals
-ordering decimals

This was a wonderful three days full of STEM thinking and creativity! 

1 comment:

  1. This is such an awesome idea! I teach in Muncie, and I am teaching a 4/5 split next year. Are you going to be adding this to your TPT store?