Paper Roller Coaster STEM Project

Rated 4.78 out of 5, based on 46 reviews
46 Ratings
Teaching in Room 6
Grade Levels
3rd - 5th
Resource Type
Formats Included
  • PDF
  • Google Apps™
15 pages
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Teaching in Room 6
Includes Google Apps™
The Teacher-Author indicated this resource includes assets from Google Workspace (e.g. docs, slides, etc.).

What educators are saying

I used this with my remote learners at the end of the school year along with other roller coaster resources. This kept students engaged and used supplies easily available at my students' homes.
I used this along with an assignment on Flip Grid to see their roller coasters work. I appreciate the rubric. Good resource.


Learning about Force and Motion has never been easier than with this fun DIGITAL compatible STEM project.

Students will learn about the ideas of force and motion, gravity and friction. They will watch videos, take notes, and then set off to build a roller coaster completely out of paper! They will design the roller coaster, reflect on their design, and then carry it out. Students will be guided and prompted along the way. This independent project is perfect for Distance Learning, as each of the pages for the students are DIGITAL and self-explanatory.

This resource includes:

  • lesson plans for the teacher
  • suggested pacing plan and ideas for teaching the concepts
  • student pages that can be given to the students with little to no explanation
  • grading rubric
  • digital links for all student pages

This is a grab-and-go type of resource. It can be taught and assigned on the fly, with students creating wonderful projects in the end!

Total Pages
15 pages
Answer Key
Teaching Duration
1 Week
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to see state-specific standards (only available in the US).
Plan and conduct an investigation to provide evidence of the effects of balanced and unbalanced forces on the motion of an object. Examples could include an unbalanced force on one side of a ball can make it start moving; and, balanced forces pushing on a box from both sides will not produce any motion at all. Assessment is limited to one variable at a time: number, size, or direction of forces. Assessment does not include quantitative force size, only qualitative and relative. Assessment is limited to gravity being addressed as a force that pulls objects down.
Plan and carry out fair tests in which variables are controlled and failure points are considered to identify aspects of a model or prototype that can be improved.
Make observations and/or measurements of an object’s motion to provide evidence that a pattern can be used to predict future motion. Examples of motion with a predictable pattern could include a child swinging in a swing, a ball rolling back and forth in a bowl, and two children on a see-saw. Assessment does not include technical terms such as period and frequency.
Define a simple design problem reflecting a need or a want that includes specified criteria for success and constraints on materials, time, or cost.
Plan an investigation to provide evidence that the change in an object’s motion depends on the sum of the forces on the object and the mass of the object. Emphasis is on balanced (Newton’s First Law) and unbalanced forces in a system, qualitative comparisons of forces, mass and changes in motion (Newton’s Second Law), frame of reference, and specification of units. Assessment is limited to forces and changes in motion in one-dimension in an inertial reference frame, and to change in one variable at a time. Assessment does not include the use of trigonometry.


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