Paper Roller Coasters: Kinetic and Potential Energy
- Design and build a working roller coaster.
- Explain how conservation of energy applies to the roller coaster, in terms of gravitational potential energy, kinetic energy, and friction.
What goes up, must come down in this thrill-seeking lesson plan! How much energy does a roller coaster car need to make it through a loop? In this lesson your students will learn about kinetic and potential energy as they build their own roller coasters from simple classroom materials.
NGSS AlignmentThis lesson helps students prepare for these Next Generation Science Standards Performance Expectations:
For the roller coaster activity the following items are required: construction paper, cardboard, scissors, tape, and a marble.
Each group will need:
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Area of Science
kinetic energy, potential energy, conservation of energy, friction
Ben Finio, PhD, Science Buddies
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