I settled on roller coasters.
Students have a virtual reality video to watch on DiscoveryVR where they ride a roller coaster. Then they have an introduction to conic sections where they are given play doh and a plastic knife to play surgery, I did this activity last year: Conic Section Surgery
I started with Parabolas and asked them to complete a Desmos Polygraph Activity over Parabolas.
Then I went over the first project with the students, students will construct a working paper roller coaster.
Students started their paper roller coasters.
Students read an article on Newsela about roller coasters and were asked to identify the main point, supporting details, essential elements, and asked them to circle words they didn't know. When they were done reading and annotating they were to summarize the article in two sentences using the essential elements.
Then we went over the first day of parabolas, where students graphed parabolas based on an equation.