Governor's Institute for Career Education and Work
Design an Awesome Roller Coaster

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Governor’s Institute for Career Education and Work Activity

by Joyce Shull, Chiron Thompson and Jackie Santanasto

Title

Design an Awesome Roller Coaster

Standards Addressed
  • 13.2 B Explain and demonstrate the completion of multi-faceted technical tasks of multi-faceted technical tasks using a variety of sources.
  • 13.2 C, 13.2 G, 13.3 C
Brief Overview Web based inquiry developed at Lehigh University.

Students will understand the five properties that make roller coasters move: energy, inertia, friction, centripetal force and gravity through links on the website. Next the students will design a roller coaster using a roller coaster simulation website.
Grade Level 8th
Content Area(s) Science, Technology
Other standards supported
  • ASCA, NSSP, NCDG
  • 1.18 E, 1.1.8A, 1.1.8B, 1.1.8D, 1.1.8F, 1.2.8A, 3.4.7C
Prep Time Approximately 15 minutes before each session
Implementation Time Five to six, 45-minute sessions
Learning Objectives Design a roller coaster utilizing the five properties that impact how a roller coaster works.
Materials Needed
  1. Computer with internet access.
  2. A pen or pencil
  3. Hand outs (located on  each activity page)
  4. Energy- Styrofoam tubing, Marble, Tape, Ruler
  5. Inertia- Index or playing card, Plastic cup, Penny
  6. Friction-Different types of objects, A wood/metal sheet
  7. Centripetal Force- Paper cup, 3 pieces of string/yarn, hole puncher, penny, styrofoam tubing, marble, tape, ruler
Detailed Activity Steps Follow the links to understand how roller coasters work and complete each activity in the link:
 

Go to Funderstanding, and follow the directions on the website.
Theory basis Experiential Learning Theory
Evaluation/Assessment Share results on the maximum speed achieved while successfully staying on the track. Write a rationalization why the roller coaster stayed on track.

Teacher evaluation.
Comments Web-inquiry developed by Lehigh University, http://www.lehigh.edu/~amb4/. See site for other quality activities.
Adaptation for at risk kids Adapt per IEP.
Resources

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