Welcome to the Headmaster's Blog where you'll find updates, thoughts, and events regarding Saint David's School, the education of boys, and other items of interest. This is by no means meant to be a complete account of all that happens at Saint David's. Please refer to the school's website for more complete details -- it's more a Headmaster's musings.
Wednesday, February 18, 2015
Using Race Cars to Learn Rate
Forget about the upcoming Daytona 500! Our fifth graders have the Gallagher 300, a race among toy cars, named after their teacher, which helps the boys understand how rate is calculated and how it can be manipulated.
The boys, working in pairs, first calculated and recorded the rates of speed of their cars (Mini Cooper, Lamborghini, #28 and Dodge Viper) on a 3-meter flat "track."
They then experimented with making modifications to the track, for example by adding a ramp, to see if they could improve upon their car's rate.
After two fun-filled trials and a final run, the results were in! #28, fitted with a slingshot, came in first with a rate of 2.21 m/sec.
This activity, which required the boys to generate creative solutions a particular challenge, is an example of the application of math to tangible problems that is prevalent throughout our math curriculum.