In this activity, students will create a bridge between two chairs and use a slinky to attach a bucket to the bridge. Students will add objects to the bucket and determine the relationship between the number of items added and the distance from the floor.
Before the Activity
Before beginning the activity, divide the class in groups of four students. It will take this many students to hold the meter stick, add the marbles, and record the measurements. Directions for the set-up are included in the student handout. Students should be able to read the directions and figure out how to set up the bridege without an example or guidance from the teacher.
During the Activity
During the activity, monitor the students to make sure that they have the bridge set up correctly. You will also need to make sure that they are measuring the distance from the bottom of the cup to the floor correctly. Often times, the students don't have the meter sticks turned the correct direction!
After the Activity
After the activity, discuss the process of find the line of best fit. This would be a good time to discuss the meaning of the slope and y-intercept, as well as the reliability of the line-of-best-fit.