lesson plans

Using paper roller coasters with a class can be a fun way to teach the physics of energy and motion, as well as the importance of the engineering design process. 
Here are three sample lessons which are aimed at very different ages. Please send requests, comments, or suggestions to service@paperrollercoasters.com.

Calculating Potential Energy and Kinetic Energy of a Rolling Marble - Students will calculate the change in potential energy of a marble traveling between two points on a paper roller coaster and compare that to the kinetic energy that was gained by the marble during that same time. There is an optional extension for the students to determine the kinetic energy of the marble that is due to its rotation. The PDF form can be printed out and filled in by hand or it can be filled out electronically. This lesson was designed for students in a high school physics class, but could be adapted for other ages. Answer Key - with sample results. Actual results will vary.

Calculating Average Speed of a Rolling Marble - Students will find the speed of the marble in different portions of a paper roller coaster. They will also find the average speed of the marble during the entire trip down the paper roller coaster. The PDF form can be printed out and filled in by hand or it can be filled out electronically. This lesson was designed for students in grades 5 through 8, but could be adapted for other ages.

The Great Paper Roller Coaster Challenge - Students will build an exciting Paper Roller Coaster that meets specific requirements, using as little "money" as possible. This lesson will challenge your students' planning and critical thinking skills. It was designed for students in grades 5 through 8, but could be adapted for other ages.

 

The Ultimate Paper Roller Coaster

Andrew Gatt built this amazing Paper Roller Coaster with the help of his sons, Daniel and Gregory. It was completed in December 2014 and still stands in their home.

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