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Building Roller Coasters

Building Roller Coasters
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Students build their own small-scale model roller coasters using pipe insulation and marbles, and then analyze them using physics principles learned in the associated lesson. They examine conversions between kinetic and potential energy and frictional effects to design roller coasters that are completely driven by gravity. A class competition using different marbles types to represent different passenger loads determines the most innovative and successful roller coasters. This engineering curriculum meets Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS).
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Teaching Duration
2 hours
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