Get out your Barbies (or any other action figures) for a super easy but tons of fun STEAM / STEM activity.
Big thanks to my 10-year old’s amazing science teacher, Chris Lazartic, for this fun science (physics,) engineering, and math (measurement,) activity idea! If you want the lesson plans for this activity, visit the NCTM website.
STEAM Education Activity: Bungee Barbie
Your goal is to create a bungee of rubber bands that will get your Barbie’s hair to touch the ground. Don’t let your Barbie touch the ground or she dies.
Measure your distance. Make a hypothesis of how many rubber bands you’ll need. Write it down.
Tie your rubber bands together. (Don’t add the barbie to the bungee though.) Measure the length of your rubber band bungee just to see. Add on your Barbie.
You’ll need to be thinking about how much the rubber bands will stretch — this is where the experimentation excitement happens! How much will the rubber bands stretch when you add a weight? (the Barbie)
Start testing — try not to kill your Barbie.
Test it out.
Change the length of your bungee by adding or subtracting rubber bands to figure out what will work. Write down your results each time.
For more math or science extensions, have your kids try the following:
- calculate the average of all the lengths you tested or the number of rubber bands used each time
- make a Desmos graph or scatter plot
- apply this activity to lessons about gravitational and elastic energy