Bungee Barbie: Using Barbie to collect and interpret linear data - Part 1

Traci Seto - Joseph Kerr Middle School

Subject Area - Math (Algebra)
Grade Level - Middle School

Overview: To make the concept of linear patterns and relationships more concrete; students will collect data using rubber bands and Barbie Dolls and will use the linear relationship of the data to make predictions.


  • Students will understand the purpose of collecting Bungee Barbie data is to see the linear pattern of the data and make predictions using tables, graphs, and graphing calculators.
  • Students will collect accurate data from the jumps of Barbie at various heights in the classroom.


Day 1:

  • Teacher demonstrates concept of Line of Best Fit for data prediction.
  • Teacher explains the Bungee Barbie Experiment.
  • Teacher gives brief demonstration for collecting data.
  • Students form pairs and fill out index cards with names (used later for prediction).
  • Students (pairs) begin collecting data for 1,2,3,… rubber bands at various heights throughout classroom, entering the most accurate data into their table.T
  • Teacher monitors data collection.
  • Teacher wraps up the activity and collects materials.

Day 2:

  • Teacher models graphing data on overhead. (Point out scaling and labeling graph.)
  • Students graph their own data.
  • Teacher models looking for a pattern/trend in data. (Discuss outliers.)
  • Students analyze their data, looking for patterns/trends in their tables and graphs.
  • Students draw a “line of best fit” on their graph and write the equation using slope and y-intercept.

HOMEWORK – Students must come prepared on “Day 3” with table, graph, line of best fit and equation!!


  • Assignment Cover Sheet
  • 16 Barbie Dolls
  • 16 Tape Measures/Meter Sticks
  • 200 Rubber Bands
  • 16 Index Cards
  • Graph paper



  • Collaborate with peers, experts, and others using telecommunications and collaborative tools to investigate curriculum-related problems, issues, and information, and to develop solutions or products for audiences inside and outside the classroom.
  • Select and use appropriate tools and technology resources to accomplish a variety of tasks and solve problems.

Common Core Standards – Mathematics

  • Grade 8 - Understand the connections between proportional relationships, lines, and linear equations; Use functions to model relationships between quantities.
  • Algebra I - Create equations that describe numbers or relationships; Represent and solve equations and inequalities graphically.

California Content Standards for Mathematics

  • 7th Grade
    • Algebra and Functions 1.0 Students express quantitative relationships by using algebraic terminology, expression, equations, inequalities, and graphs.
    • Algebra and Functions 3.0 Students graph and interpret linear functions.
    • Statistics, Data, Analysis and Probability 1.0 Students collect organize and represent data sets that have one or more variables and identify relationships among variables within a data set by hand and through the use of an electronic spreadsheet software program.
    • Mathematical Reasoning 1.0 Students make decisions about how to approach problems.
    • Mathematical Reasoning 2.0 Students use strategies, skills, and concepts in finding solutions.
    • Mathematical Reasoning 3.0 Students determine a problem is complete and move beyond a particular problem by generalizing to other situations.
  • Algebra I
    • Algebra 1.0 Students identify and use the arithmetic properties of subsets of integers and rational, irrational, and real numbers, including closure properties for the four basic arithmetic operations where applicable.
    • Algebra 4.0 Students simplify expressions before solving linear equations and inequalities in one variable.
    • Algebra 5.0 Students solve multi-step problems, including word problems, involving linear equations and linear inequalities in one variable and provide justification for each step.
    • Algebra 6.0 Students graph a linear equation.
    • Algebra 7.0 Students verify that a point lies on a line, given an equation of the line.
    • Algebra 10.0 Students add, subtract, multiply, and divide monomials and polynomials. Students solve multi-step problems, including word problems, by using these techniques.
    • Algebra 16.0 Students understand the concepts of a relation and a function, determine whether a given relation defines a function, and give pertinent information about given relations and functions.
    • Algebra 24.0 Students use and know simple aspects of a logical argument.