One of my favorite assessments of the year is based off of a Mythbusters episode (season 10, episode 145). The episode is Waterslide Wipeout. Jamie and Adam investigate this YouTube video.
Jamie and Adam build a giant waterslide and slide down it a couple of times each at various distances during the episodes. I thought this would be a great opportunity for students to apply their knowledge of scatterplots, correlation and line of best fit.
To start, we watch the above video. We then pause for discussion about whether this video is real or fake. We then watch various parts of the episode, cut down to the essentials, to see how Jamie and Adam faired in their investigation.
I then present them with the data from the episode. Their task is to use www.desmos.com to create a scatterplot and line of best fit from the data. Then use the line of best fit to help their decision about whether or not the video was real or fake.
Slide Distance (ft) 80 121 165 123 162
Flying Distance (ft) 4 40 70 43 72
The students then create short videos reporting their findings. Last year they used Educreations to create the video, this year I will probably use iMovie.
A couple notes:
I used to do have students do this by hand, desmos has really made this problem much better.
We have covered exponential equations at this point, although most students go with a linear line of best fit, I have had students use exponential as well.
The students do enjoy this assessment.