Lesson Plan Title : Pumpkin Roll
Age Range: Grade 9 through grade 12 (High School)
Overview and Purpose: This is a multi-day activity that incorporates science and math in an exciting challenge. Each group has to build a machine that will roll a pumpkin father than anyone else's machine.
Objective: The student will be able to create a machine that will roll his pumpkin the furthest.
Several pumpkins all about the same weight and shape
Various lengths of board
Various sized cylinders
Old sheets to roll the pumpkins on
Other materials provided by students
Explain to your students that they will be working in groups of three to create a machine that will roll a pumpkin farther than any other groups. The rules are that the machine must be made entirely by them in the classroom, not be motorized, and roll the pumpkin (not throw it.)
Divide the class into groups of three and give them a class period to plan their machine and gather the materials they need. After they have completed the planning, give them one or two class periods to build the machine. Have each group roll three pumpkins and record the longest of the three rolls. The group with the pumpkin that rolls the furthest is the winner.
The students may need to complete some of the planning outside of class. If this will be the case, you may need to give them extra time to be able to meet. This activity can also be extended by having students roll pumpkins of varying weights and sizes and recording their results. They can then write a report on their experiment and the findings.