Classes bungee Barbies to study statistics

Junior Scott Wolfe measures the drop of the barbie doll as it was thrown down from above.


AP Statistics students threw Barbie dolls off a bridge during class–all in the name of learning.

“The Barbie Bungee Jump is used in math classes all over the country to help students make connections between the mechanics of linear regression and how it works in the real (or rather ‘Barbie’) world,” said AP Statistics teacher Angela Kilmer. “Students originally used a small number of rubber bands to see how far Barbie would fall in a ‘safe’ test zone, from 180 cm. They then used these data to construct a scatter plot, line of best fit and a calculated linear regression. From these models, or equations, students made predictions about how many rubber bands would be needed for Barbie’s ultimate bungee jump from the bridge between building 1 and building 13 and the ground (515 cm).”

The Barbies jumped on the third day of the experiment, Sept. 26. Kilmer said all Barbies emerged safely.

“No Barbies required hospitalization after this expedition, and full medical releases were signed and witnessed  before they took ‘the plunge,'” Kilmer said.