Science Buddies will be down while making upgrades, beginning Tuesday June 2 at 10:00PM PST for approximately 4 hours.
We apologize for any inconvenience!
Home Store Project Ideas Project Guide Ask An Expert Blog Careers Teachers Parents Students
All Activities

Theme Park Science with Jell-O® Loop-De-Loops

by Teisha Rowland, PhD
Active Time
45 minutes to 1 hour
Total Project Time
1 to 2 days
Key Concepts
physics, forces, motion, centripetal force, circular motion
Experimental setup for investigating centripetal force using a plastic cup with a marble trapped between two layers of different colored Jell-O.


Have you ever wondered what keeps you in your seat when you are riding a giant loop-de-loop roller coaster? Surprisingly, it is not the seat belt! You are kept in your seat because of something called centripetal force. Centripetal force actually does much more than make a ride on a roller coaster's loop possible — it keeps a satellite in orbit and you in your bicycle when taking a tight curve! In this science activity, you will use marbles and Jell-O® to investigate centripetal force and circular motion. Which way will the marbles go?


Teisha Rowland, PhD, Science Buddies
This activity is not appropriate for use as a science fair project. Good science fair projects have a stronger focus on controlling variables, taking accurate measurements, and analyzing data. To find a science fair project that is just right for you, browse our library of over 1,150 Science Fair Project Ideas or use the Topic Selection Wizard to get a personalized project recommendation.


  • Transparent plastic cups (at least 4)
  • Scissors or one-hole puncher
  • Flashlight
  • Duct tape or electrical tape
  • Marbles (at least 3)
  • String, 10 inch piece
  • Jell-O (2 packages, each a different color)
  • Cooking pot
  • Measuring cup
  • Stove
  • Refrigerator
  • An open area outside
Log In

Please to submit a review.



Was this review helpful?
Be the first one to review this activity.
close We are glad you are interested in our activities! You must be logged in to your Science Buddies account to see these materials. Please log in or create a free account.

Log in

User Name or Email Address: 


Why create a FREE Science Buddies account?

With a Science Buddies account you can:
  • Receive unlimited access to all our activities and other downloadable resources
  • Share your comments and reviews with other users
  • Save your Favorites and Recommendations, and view them on any computer
  • View and vote on commentary by our users
  • Receive our regular email newsletter featuring new project ideas, content, and useful tips and tricks for students and teachers

Active Time
45 minutes to 1 hour
Total Project Time
1 to 2 days
Key Concepts
physics, forces, motion, centripetal force, circular motion