UF Students Practice What They Learned With Barbie Bungee Jump
University of Findlay students taking Elementary Statistics left the classroom on Wednesday and made their way over to Alumni Memorial Union for a hands-on learning experience with Barbie Bungee Jump.
Students took turns standing atop the lofts in Alumni Memorial Union (AMU) and dropping barbies and action figures off the edge with nothing but rubber bands strapped to their feet. Professor Michael Ellerbrock, M.S. teaches the statistics class, and said he understands that statistics isn’t always the most exciting class, but he tries to add a fun element to his class. “It’s a nice activity to apply the principles that we have demonstrated in class, and a way to bring reality to what we’ve been discussing,” Ellerbrock said.
The first group dropped a Buzz Lightyear action figure from the edge and bounced his head off the ground below. One by one, other groups dropped Spiderman, Moana, and a Storm Trooper. With the Storm Trooper coming the closest to the ground without touching, his group took the lead. Freshmen Megan Vollmar and Anna Dircksen took to the loft with their dinosaur and prepared to drop him. Falling quickly to the ground, the rubber bands tightened and pulled him back up before hitting the ground. The result—a tie!
After a simultaneous bungee jump, it was determined Vollmar and Dircksen would take home the win. “It was great to be able to get up, move around, and engage ourselves. It made stats more fun,” said Vollmar. For Dircksen, the experience will help her remember what she learned in class, “I thought stats would be more lecture heavy, but as a person who learns better hands-on, this was extremely fun. I’m more likely to retain the information due to the hands-on experience we had today.
Ellerbrock hopes to continue the event for years to come, encouraging his students to have fun while learning. “Is anyone going to go out and run their own bungee jumping company—No! However, it’s a way to bring subject matter to life and show them that math can be fun,” he said.
Ellerbrock and the University’s math department will now get ready for Mathematics Day scheduled for Wednesday, March 15. The event is open to the public, and will feature guest speaker and retired math professor, Pam Warton, Ph.D. Warton will speak twice in the Winebrenner Auditorium, with her first presentation starting at 10 a.m. Before her second presentation at 1 p.m., guests are invited to attend the math honorary induction ceremony scheduled for Noon.