During this project, your group will design your own model roller coaster using foam tubes and marbles. Your roller coaster must include at least one loop and one bump or small hill. The marble must travel the full length of your tube and land in a cup at the end. You will only be given 6 feet of pipe insulation and masking tape to build your roller coaster, but you are welcome to be creative with the furniture in the class.
Your first benchmark is to discover with your group how to get a marble to move through a loop. We will then define different forms of energy that are useful for predicting if the marble can make it through your loop, such as kinetic, gravitational, and dissipated energies. You will learn how to calculate these different forms of energy in your roller coaster. Your next benchmark will be to use your problem-solving skills to calculate the initial height your roller coaster must have to make it over a hill. You will make a sketch of your proposed roller coaster and justify your design decisions by analyzing the energy at three key locations along your tube. Your group will get one class period to build your design. Based on the results of your marble test, you’ll develop and improve your design to prepare for the final day to build a successful roller coaster on May 17. You will deliver your performance task as a WordPress blog post that includes a picture and sketch of your group’s final design, and your energy analysis.