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Build a Paper Roller Coaster

Active Time
45 minutes to 1 hour
Total Project Time
45 minutes to 1 hour
Key Concepts
Potential energy, kinetic energy, friction, conservation of energy
paper roller coaster activity

Introduction

Have you ever ridden a roller coaster? Have you ever wanted to design your own? There are plenty of expensive toys and even video games that will let you build your own coasters—but in this project you'll make one out of paper and tape, and learn about roller coaster physics along the way!

Credits

Ben Finio, 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.

Materials

  • Paper
  • Tape
  • Scissors
  • Ruler
  • Pencil
  • Corrugated cardboard
  • Marble
    paper roller coaster materials for activity

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Active Time
45 minutes to 1 hour
Total Project Time
45 minutes to 1 hour
Key Concepts
Potential energy, kinetic energy, friction, conservation of energy