Roller Coaster Mania!

This Roller Coaster Mania! activity & project also includes:

Raise the energy level of your physical science class with this exciting hands-on activity. Applying their knowledge of kinetic and potential energy and Newton's laws of motion, young engineers use foam tubing and marbles to create roller coasters with hills, loops, twists, and turns.

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CCSS: Adaptable
NGSS: Adaptable
Instructional Ideas

  • Add this activity to a physical science unit on energy and the laws of motion
  • Allow the class to work in pairs or small groups building their marble roller coasters
  • Adapt this lesson to meet the needs of older learners by having them calculate the speed and energy of the marble at different points in their roller coasters
Classroom Considerations

  • Plan this activity in coordination with your school or district's science fair, allowing the class to share their work with other students, parents, and teachers
  • Take pictures and/or videos of students' work, displaying them on a class website

  • Sample invitations and award certificates are provided in Word document format, allowing teachers to adapt them to their own classrooms
  • Provides a list of key vocabulary with definitions provided for each
  • Offers tips for preparing the Roller Coaster Mania event

  • Teacher will need to supplement instruction about how the concept of energy and the laws of motion are applied to rollercoasters
Common Core