Skip To Main Content

Endorsement Stories

Stay up to date with the latest stories about academics! From student projects to student successes, see what's going on with our academic department. 
AP Statistics: Barbie Bungee Jumping Experiment

Are you adventurous? Like bungee jumping? Do you think the length of the cord and the size of the person matters when bungee jumping? Would it be smart to lie about your height or weight? Recently, as students learned about linear regression, in AP Stats, they explored this idea through a Barbie Bungee Activity. Their objective is to give Barbie the greatest thrill while still ensuring that she is safe. This means that she should come as close as possible to the ground without hitting the floor. Students were faced with answering the following question: How many rubber bands should we attach to Barbie so that she could bungee jump from the school's Library Balcony (so fun), but without hitting her head on the ground (not fun). The catch? Students could only use seven rubber bands to figure this out. They first collected data on how far their Barbie would fall using 0-7 rubber bands. Next, they constructed an LSRL (least-squares regression line) and used that line to figure out how many rubber bands would be needed to have the most thrilling jump from Valor’s Library Balcony, which is approximately 225 inches off the ground. Before the jumps took place, students also investigated the following questions: How safe is Barbie? How good are the predictions for Barbie? How do outliers affect the LSRL? Is it wise to use extrapolation?  The classes experienced mixed results. Several ended up pushing the limit, and Barbie had an exhilarating but less-than-soft landing on the ground. Others played it safe. And finally, a few experienced extremely thrilling jumps. Overall, Alessa Jackson, Elsa Johnson, Sofia Weidknecht, and Emily Whisler came away with the most thrilling jump of all. This holiday season looks for Bungee Jump Barbie Limited Edition, which will come with a full helmet and parachute.

More Endorsement Stories

“If you can't explain it to a six-year-old, you don't understand it well enough yourself.” 

Mrs. Herscovici's Entrepreneurship class finished their unit on "Exploring Opportunities" by researching famous entrepreneurs. In small groups, students researched an entrepreneur of their choice and were made aware of how many times these entrepreneurs had to fail before their ideas became successful. In the midst of this research, we have been discussing the importance of being able to explain our learning. Essentially, “If you can't explain it to a six-year-old, you don't understand it well enough yourself.” ― Albert Einstein.

Read More about “If you can't explain it to a six-year-old, you don't understand it well enough yourself.” 
Calculus Speed Trap

If you travel 40 miles per 60 minutes, what’s your average speed per hour, or what’s your average rate of change (the change in distance over the change in time)? Are they different? Students in AP Calculus played cops and speeders last week in class. Students had the opportunity to use real radar guns and math to try and see if they could catch their classmates speeding along Fairview.

Read More about Calculus Speed Trap
Humanities Alumni Update

The Humanities program honored its first class of graduating students this past May 2023 during Valor’s commencement ceremony. We want to regularly include comments from graduates to help give a sense of how the Humanities program prepared them for the next phase of their lives. For our first alumni check-in, we asked Ben Leikam to reflect on how his time in the Humanities program prepared him for college. Here are his thoughts...

Read More about Humanities Alumni Update
STEM Night 2023

STEM Night was a great success, as students showcased their work through capstone projects, clubs, and competitions. Over 30 projects and interactive demos were highlighted during the evening. In addition, select students received awards for their innovation, creativity, and service through STEM. 

Read More about STEM Night 2023