Our elementary school is located in the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains in northeast Georgia. In our building, we only have first and second grades and as you can imagine, it is full of energy!
Being the only first and second grade elementary school in our county, we have a diverse population.
Our students come from all backgrounds and economic levels. I love how our school is a mix of our entire area because students get to interact and make friends with a wide range of kids.
Can students learn about science and financial literacy during the same lesson? You bet they can!
As a culmination of our science unit on forces and Rube Goldberg inventions (The Rube Goldberg books will used during the inventions part of the unit), students will be given the task to work in groups to create a wall roller coaster using pieces from the wall roller coaster kits.
But there is a catch! To get the parts and pieces to make the roller coaster, students will be given a budget and a price sheet for the cost of each roller coaster part. Loops, steps, and tubes will cost more than straight pieces of track.
Group members will have to work together to design a roller coaster to stay within the budget. They will have to submit a building plan and a budget sheet listing the parts they want and the total cost. They will also have to show that this cost is within their budget. If groups need more pieces than their budget will allow, they will have to complete tasks to earn more money for their budget. These tasks will focus on teaching the students about wants vs. needs.
Roller coasters will be judged on criteria including if the marble follows the track and the length of time the marble rolls down the track. Points will also be given for a diagram that groups make identifying areas where forces (push and/or pull) are located. Bonus points will be given for those groups that stay within the original budget. Points will be used with a rubric to signify the group's status as a roller coaster tycoon.
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