Ending the Year with Roller Coasters

It has certainly been a roller coaster of a year, so it only makes sense that the eighth grader’s final physics project would be to build roller coasters of their own.

Students were tasked with designing and creating a roller coaster for a marble that: utilized the forces learned about in class, had enough momentum to fulfill a loop, and had a slow down stop. The groups of students had to use their creativity, math skills, and the scientific method in order to design, evaluate, start over, redesign, and eventually finalize their coasters.

Before getting started, students found inspiration for their designs from informational video clips, where they learned the need for gravitational pull to power the coasters, centripetal force and air resistance to provide thrills, and of course friction to stop safely!

This project has its challenges, including aligning creatively with your design partners, troubleshooting problems with limited time, and getting the proper speed for the coaster to work.

We are extremely impressed the effort and enthusiasm the eighth graders put into this project, and are excited to see them using the skills they’ve learned at Saklan, which will serve them well as they head off to highschool!


Author: The Saklan School Friday Blog

The Saklan School is a private Pre-K through 8 school located in Moraga, CA. Our mission is to think creatively, act compassionately, and live courageously.

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