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Spaghetti Lab

My algebra students are finishing a unit on writing linear equations. Their culminating project is an experiment. They balance special cups outfitted with pipe cleaner hooks over a strand of spaghetti. Then, they carefully add pennies to the cup until the spaghetti strand breaks. They record the number of pennies and repeat the experiment with 2, 3, 4 and 5 strands. They use the data to explore the concepts of a scatter plot, best fit line, writing equations, slope and intercept. They will use their equation to make predictions and consider how thicker spaghetti or heavier pennies would affect the experiment.

The energy in the room today was great. They love trying to see who can get the most pennies. Today definitely fulfilled my ongoing goal of having fun in math class. #joyful

Here is a video of students conducting their first round:

Here are two examples of their blog summaries (these are from last year):