My favorite investigation! This lab gets students actively involved in collecting data and using their basic skills. This is what math class should look like! Students will build a simple water dripping apparatus to collect data, graph, write a slope-intercept equation for the line of best fit, and then use the equation to make predictions about a leaky faucet.
***See a video of my students starting this lab by clicking this link:
Click Here: You Tube - Water Dripping Lab
(Sorry about the shaky video, I used my iphone, and sorry about me laughing so much, but I couldn't help it, the students are so funny!!! And I do actually have video release on them, I had their parents sign that it was fine on their course contract, they just forget that!)
In this lab, teams of students use two paper cups, a bottle of water, and a graduated cylinder to build a water dripping apparatus on their desk. Then they record the amount of water dripped at one minute intervals for 5 minutes. Students then graph the data and write a y=mx+b equation for the line of best fit (note, b=0). Finally, students use the equation to answer questions about the amount of water that would be lost for certain amounts of time, such as 1 day, or 1 week. Students will also calculate the amount of money such a leaky faucet would cost over the course of a month.
* Materials list
* Lab overview
* Directions for setting up apparatus (very simple)
* Pre-lab warm-up
* Student response handout
* Helpful hints for the teacher
A great hands-on investigation where students relate the equation of a line to a real world problem using simple materials. Perfect for laying the foundation for more complex equations and for making learning meaningful.
****I LOVE this lab. It is easy to do, and yet forces students to think about so many math concepts in a very concrete way. Students must decide on scaling, find the line of best fit, multiply minutes to hours to days to weeks to months. They must judge the validity of their results. Very aligned with the common core goals.****
Key words: Graphing linear equations, slope-intercept, y=mx+b, two variables, function, functions, hands-on, cooperative learning, partner work, real world investigation, math in the real world, application.