Students Testing a Rollercoaster DesignUsing Wild Ride - Introduction to Project Based Learning


  • Develop more focused and personalized visions of technology integration
  • Identify new strategies for technology-supported project-based learning
  • Find and adapt classroom-tested materials that support integration of technology
  • Consider new methods to meet technology integration challenges


    Welcome, orientation to the hands-on lab computers 15 minutes
    Describe the resource 15 minutes
    Introduce and view the Wild Ride video 20 minutes
    Video discussion 15 minutes
    The Wild Ride Web site demonstration 15 minutes
    Web site exploration 30-40 minutes
    Wrap up and evaluation 20 minutes

It's a Wild Ride takes a high-interest topic, roller coaster design, and models effective use of technology, project learning, and interdisciplinary teacher teaming.

It's a Wild Ride is not a recipe or a list of "project ideas." This video and Web-based resource offers a rich, highly contextual case study of good teaching through effective strategies at work in real classrooms. One project is explored in depth, with behind-the-scenes information, teacher planning, strategy development, and reflections from the teachers. A short, lively video introduces the project and organizes your exploration of the extensive Web site. Everything before, during, and after the project can be found on the Web site: Over 200 pages of content, from the materials used on the first day to the student samples from the last day are available for review.
Student Design for Roller-coaster
Student Rollercoaster Project

Basic Facts
It's a Wild Ride is a multidisciplinary project that teaches math, physical science, and language arts through the design of roller coasters. Students gain foundation knowledge first, and then apply that knowledge both individually and in teams to design and defend a roller coaster design.

Introduce and Watch the Video
The video provides a visual tour of the classrooms and the It's a Wild Ride learning project and is intended to introduce the Web site. The video and the Web site are organized into the same segments which makes the video a good "table of contents" for the extensive Web site materials.

As you view the video, make mental or written notes of what interests you:

  • What do you want to know more about?
  • What would you like to have?
  • What would you want to explore further on the Web site?
Student Design for Roller-coaster

The Wild Ride Web Site Demonstration
A quick demonstration of the Web site, focusing on organization of site and navigation basics.

A few examples before we move on...

Web Site Exploration (Hands-On)

  • Hands-on time to explore areas of the Wild Ride Project pages using prompt questions
  • Classroom Context and Project Description
  • Management and Organization Strategies
  • Monitoring and Assessment Practices
  • School Support

Explore the It's a Wild Ride Web site:
Find answers to questions raised by the video by exploring highlights of the project.

Web Site Questions Discussion
Share highlights, particular things of interest found during the hands-on time.

About the Resource
This resource was developed at the Northwest Regional Educational Laboratory (NWREL), a federally-funded research and dissemination organization that serves the five Northwest states. Intel® Innovation in Education established a collaborative alliance with the lab to distribute the video nationally, and expand the Web resource on Intel's education Web site. Both resources are free.


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