Glasgow Daily Times, Glasgow, KY

January 14, 2013

Students participate in Barbie bungee jumping exercise

By SHELLEY SMITH
Glasgow Daily Times

GLASGOW — Students in Kyle Bunnell’s science class at Glasgow High School spent Friday afternoon tossing dolls, wrapped in long, elastic band bungee cords, off the top of the staircase.

Bunnell said the exercise gives the students hands-on experience with testing the scientific method. The students were divided into groups and given the task of constructing bungee cords made entirely out of elastic bands to safely toss a smalldoll.

“The goal is to make Barbie’s bungee jumping experience safe and enjoyable,” Bunnell said.

Tanner Sawyer, junior, said his group constructed their bungee cord with 43 elastic bands. They practiced dropping the doll off smaller 8-foot drops before the final 25-foot drop Friday afternoon. Sawyer said they practiced the jumps three or four times to help ensure precision and accuracy. He said he liked that the process was very interactive.

Matthew Coomer, junior, said their group made a bungee cord out of 41 elastic bands.

“We tested it two or three times to get it right,” Coomer said. “The thought of dropping Barbies off a stairwell makes learning fun.”

Bunnell said the exercise got the students in the practice of thinking outside the box to problem solve and how to effectively work together in a group setting. He said, working as a team, the students learned how to utilize different people’s talents.

“It’s a lot of interactive, hands-on learning,” Bunnell said. “Instead of words on paper the students see and experience the scientific method first hand.”

Bunnell said the Science 3 class starts off with the basics of science with the scientific method and gradually moves to more difficult concepts with six weeks of biology, chemistry and other sciences. He said he’s always trying to find ways to get the students involved and make the lessons come to life.