Group Work - Build a Roller Coaster

Lesson Plan     WOW! TV Video

This lesson will give students the opportunity to use communication, critical-thinking, and decision-making skills. Their groups will brainstorm and design a roller coaster and then build and test a prototype.

This would be a great lesson to schedule before our Engineering Design Process and Reverse Engineering lessons.
(Most appropriate for grade levels 3-8.)

Lesson Time: 45-55 minutes

Student Activity 1: Each team will problem solve as they create a roller coaster that will carry their ping pong ball (or marble) at least the distance of 1 foot, and have it land in a cup at the end. They will be challenged to see if they can increase the distance or use multiple turns in their plan and design.

Group work: Students will work in groups of 3-4 students. In order to save time, teachers are asked to create the groups before our Wizard arrives.

Science Standards:
3.4.PS.2: Energy can be transferred from one location to another or can be transformed from one form to another.
6.PS.3: There are two categories of energy: kinetic and potential.
8.PS.4: An object's motion can be described by its speed and the direction in which it is moving.
8.PS.2: Forces can act to change the motion of objects.

High School Standards:
PS.FM: Forces and motion lesson
P.M: Motion
P.M: Forces, momentum and motion lessons