**Return
to the Science Web Home Page**

Roller Coaster

Objectives

Students will relate gravitational potential energy to mass and height. | |

Students will relate kinetic energy to mass and speed. | |

Students will demonstrate the relationship between potential and kinetic energy. |

Materials

16 feet of pipe insulation, cut in half per student group. | |

Duct tape | |

Cardboard to support student design’s in place | |

Marble | |

Scissors | |

Meter stick | |

Stopwatch |

Requirements

- Students will not cut their pipe insulation.
- Students will create a working roller coaster from the materials provided.
- The roller coaster shall have at least one steep hill and one low hill. It should also contain at least a single-loop and at least one sharp bend.

Procedure

Homework – Draw 4 possible roller coaster patterns that could be followed in your making of a roller coaster. Use graph paper to make your roller coaster to scale. Use the following scale 4 squares = 1 foot in your drawing.

Day 1 – Obtain your materials for your roller coaster. Use your drawings and those of your partners to begin planning and then constructing your roller coaster. Your roller coaster must contain the following items:

1 tall hill | |

1 small hill | |

1 loop | |

1 sharp curve |

Begin the construction of your roller coaster. Use cardboard to shore up all portions of the coaster so that it can be supported and moved as needed.

Day 2 – Collect the following data from your coaster.

Height of largest hill | |

Slope of largest hill (steepness) | |

Speed of marble at top of hill, middle of hill and bottom of hill | |

Height of all other hills | |

Mass of marble | |

Time it took for marble to complete the course. |

Complete the data table.