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Barbie Goes To School

January 26, 2011, 6:30 PM by Kelly Bartnick

Barbie Goes To School
SIOUX FALLS, SD - What do Barbie and rubber bands have in common? You'd know the answer if you sat through seventh grade math class this week at O'Gorman. Students there are in the early trials of competition involving the two. The competition involves math and science.

Just when these seventh graders though they'd out grown her.

"The force of the gravity is greater for the heavier Barbie," math teacher Melanie Kirsch said. 

Barbie is back. Even if this time she's more of a visual aid than a toy.

"I didn't think how science and math would really come together in this project with bungee jumping," seventh grader Grace Prouse said. 

And this two-day project is teaching just that, using both to study proportions. Students spent their first day making calculations before the big show with six groups and as many dolls with a death wish.

"We make proportions and see how it many it would take to fall off a meter stick," Prouse said. "You had to just let it go and you couldn't push it. Or else it would have had more momentum and would have had a higher chance of hitting the ground," she said. 

And if that happened, it's game over for the group which would also lose points. The team who's doll got closest to the ground without touching won.

"We only put 25 rubber bands on and the winning group put 28," Prouse said. 

"We had to be really careful about where we measured and tried to see how her bottom of her head was when she dropped," Kirsch said. 

And now they'll put those life lessons to work. And maybe even remember this when they're older.

Eight separate math classes competed Wednesday. Class winners got a candy bar and the chance to jump again in the finals next week.

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