I developed this project when I was tired of the typical PE/Work lab where students climb the stairs. It's my best selling item for a reason. It's fun for students, the only real cost is for masking tape, and it's easy to grade. :) Depending on your schedule, it can fill 2-5 class periods.
Students use paper book covers, paper bags, paper plates, cereal boxes, etc. to build a working roller coaster that will keep a car (marble) inside for at least 8.0 s. They calculate PE, expected KE, actual KE and energy lost.
The bundled materials include a lesson, an online simulation, a student handout and a grading rubric.
The teacher materials include some photos of successful projects.
Keywords: project, potential energy, kinetic energy, coefficient of friction, clothoid loop, joule, mass, newton, conversion, project, physics, engineering, gifted, talented, GTE, GATE, STEM, design, challenge
Paper Rollercoaster Project is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License