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  • The Compadre Digitial Library
The Physics of Roller coasters
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In this project, students will design and construct a roller coaster. The materials used in this activity can be found materials (pipe insulation, paper tube, wood dowels, etc. for little or no cost.
For a small fee, Paper Templates for a Paper Roller Coaster can be purchased from paperrollercoasters.com. This kit includes one set of detailed directions with over ninety color photographs, and eleven templates suitable for photocopying. Each set of paper templates may be used for one home or classroom only. You supply card stock, marbles, tape, and a piece of cardboard.
Once constructed the coasters are constructed, students will analyze the physics of motion of a roller coaster car and its occupants in terms of concepts such as speed, acceleration, Newton’s Laws, net forces, normal forces, friction forces, and energy (KE, PE, TME); this description should be both mathematical and conceptual.  

Physical Science
Material Type:
Alternate Assessment
Curriculum Map
Rubric/Scoring Guide
Teaching/Learning Strategy
The Compadre Digitial Library
Kristin Michalski
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