Home School Life Journal From Preschool to High School

Home School Life Journal ........... Ceramics by Katie Bergenholtz
"Let us strive to make each moment beautiful."
Saint Francis DeSales

Middle School Physical Science: Roller Coasters: Marble Coasters

Now, its time to use all you have learned to make a model roller coaster.

You will be graded on:

  1. Accurate labeling of terms
  2. Successful verbal explanations
  3. Smoothness and reliability of operation
  4. Problem solving
  5. Stability of the structure
  6. Creativity
  7. Teamwork


You can use either foam pool noodles and tape or cardboard paper towel, gift wrap and toilet paper tubes and tape. You will also need scissors and marbles, of course. You must have at least one curve and one loop and an energy source, such as gravity, that will send the marble all the way through the coaster. The marble must also land softly at the end and not fly out.
After you have built the coaster, test your coaster by sending the marble through it. Problem solve how to fix any problems your coaster has and make any necessary adjustments.


Label, either with written labels or verbally, with the following terms:

  1. Inertia
  2. Centripetal Force
  3. Friction
  4. Angular Momentum
  5. Linear Momentum
  6. Highest Kinetic Energy
  7. Highest Potential Energy
  8. Negative Acceleration (Deceleration)

Other possible projects:

  • Try building a roller coaster out of easy  to bend wire.
  • Write a detailed description of a roller coaster you imagined, creating your own virtual ride, by making the description as realistic as possible, obeying all the laws of physics you have learned.
  • Research and write a report about how either Galileo or Newton influenced the study of physics.
  • Research  and write a report about how the moon's gravity brings about tidal changes using the physics concepts and terms you have learned.
  • Research and report about how Newton's Laws of Motion affects bicyclist safety.
  • Research and write a report about pendulums and Newton's Laws of Motion.

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