Energy on a Roller Coaster

This Energy on a Roller Coaster activity & project also includes:

Roll with your class into the idea of conservation of energy. Pupils use a roller coaster track to collect data to reinforce the concept of conservation of energy and the influence of friction. Class members then create a graph from their calculated data. 

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CCSS: Designed
NGSS: Designed
Instructional Ideas
  • If a roller coaster track is not available, use a toy car track and toy car
  • Do some sample calculations with the class before having them collect data and do the calculations on their own
Classroom Considerations
  • The activity requires a photo gate and a marble roller coaster track
  • The fourth installment in an eight-part series
  • The worksheet provides tables where pupils record measurements
  • Answers to the assessment questions provide the mathematics needed to arrive at the answer
  • It might be difficult to access photo gates