Summary: This activity is used to simulate some of the physics of a roller coaster.
Key Concepts: Energy and momentum
Student Involvement: Several groups of students will help make a roller coaster track with a plastic tube that will allow a gum ball to roll from the beginning to the end.
Engineering Roles: Mechanical, civil, and industrial engineers
Real World Connections: Engineers design roller coasters so that the energy of the roller coaster coming down from a high point can be used to make the coaster go through loops and up smaller hills.
Materials: 1 6ft plastic tube and several gumballs
Setup: The students will make loops with the plastic tube and place a gumball in it to see if it makes it through the track.
Suggestions: Do not let students swing the tube, and changing the elevation can increase the momentum