>After the AP exam, I have my students design and build a scale model of a >roller coaster. The path of the coaster must be piecewise and include at >least one trig function and one polynomial function. The pieces have to >joined together so they are continuous and differentiable at all points. >They must also determine the velocity and acceleration functions for their >paths. Perhaps this year, I will also add some other conditions so they >will have to solve differential equations or determine the arc length. > >The students always enjoy this and look forward to it as an end of the year >project. It allows them to work together and apply many of the concepts of >calculus. > >Mary Guy >Sevatopol High School >Sturgeon Bay, WI
Mary, I was digging through some old e-mails for post-AP exam ideas and find yours to be very interesting. I was wondering if you have any other specifics about the project I might be able to use. I will very likely "steal" this idea, and figure you may know of any common problems or concerns the students may have or run into. If not, then let me at least say "thank-you" ahead of time for the idea itself. As a fairly new teacher, it is not always easy to come up with these kind of projects.
J. Nowak, AP Calc AB Jacobs H.S., Algonquin, IL firstname.lastname@example.org