Roller Coaster Science!

 home segments chm 099 chm 100 contact ck

 roller coaster science!
 Roller Coaster Science! Utilizing very simple materials you can build your very own roller coaster and study the laws of motion, velocity, and acceleration.  You will need: foam pipe insulation, tape, marble, stop watch.  Now try this:  Utilizing tape and foam pipe insulation, construct your very own roller coaster. Get as creative as you want and utilize the laws of motion. Use a marble to test your construction. Use a watch to measure speed. Change your construction if necessary to make the best performance for your marble.  Explanation:  Creating your own roller coaster allows you to see so many scientific principles such as speed (the measure of how much distance is covered in a certain amount of time), velocity (both speed and direction), acceleration (the rate at which velocity changes).  This is also a great project to study Newton's laws of Motion:  First Law: An object at rest or in uniform motion in a straight line will remain at rest or in the same uniform motion unless acted upon by an unbalanced force. This is also known as the law of inertia.  Second Law: The acceleration of an object is directly proportional to the total unbalanced force exerted on the object, and is inversely proportional to the mass of the object (as mass increases, the acceleration has to decrease). The acceleration of an object moves in the same direction as the total force. This is also known as the law of acceleration.  Third Law: If one object exerts a force on a second object, the second object exerts a force equal in magnitude and opposite in direction on the object body. This is also known as the law of interaction.