Friday, March 9, 2012

Roller Coaster Physics for Kids!

Roller coasters are fast, fun, and exciting! They also involve a lot of Science-potential energy, kinetic energy, velocity, speed, friction, forces, gravity.....  Kids can learn about physics by building and testing  their own roller coaster. 

Materials needed
-foam insulating tubes (cut in half to make track)
-duct tape
-other recycled materials such as paper towel rolls for tunnels
-paper and pencil for planning

Sunshine (age9) adjusting her coaster so that her marble stays on
the track and makes the loop!
After designing and testing her rollercoaster, Sunshine wrote two paragraphs explaining how physics is involved in relation to her overall model and coasters in general.  She used her Science book, as well as information from websites to guide her with the writing component of this project.
Little man had to get in on the action as well!  I don't know what's cuter- the red long-johns or his attempt at getting that marble on the coaster? 

How Roller Coasters Work
Hands-on Activity: Amusement Park Ride: Ups and Downs in Design
Roller Coaster Marbles: How Much Height to Loop the Loop?

Enjoy your weekend!



Playing by the book said...

Did you cut open the insulating tube or does the type you bought come with a trough for the marble to sit in? This looks like a really fun project.

Jen said...

Playing by the book...
Yes, you cut the tubing in half to make the trough. I added that in my post- thanks!! :)

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