K'Nex Roller Coaster

For Christmas 1994, my brother and I got a K'Nex Roller Coaster set. My dad and I put the whole thing together in our living room (it took up a large part of the room). Now I have it in my classroom. The box was sitting in the corner building anticipation and now construction is underway. I teach two elective classes and one of the classes got to spend part of a period beginning to build.

I saw students using team building skills to work together and create a plan. I also saw them thinking spatially about the directions and how to connect pieces. I saw students who are usually not interested in anything math related take an interest in this activity. (I love when this happens).

 The directions are definitely not as clear as Lego directions, and allow for some interpretation. Students used ideas of symmetry to interpret the instructions. Day one of construction ended with a solid foundation and several jealous students who did not get to participate (only one of my six classes had the privilege so far), but I will definitely make more time for this in the FOUR weeks of school we have left. I sure how the coaster is complete by June 10, 2016!

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