Everyone loves roller coasters–well, at least grade 5 students love roller coasters. As part of our unit inquiring into energy, students tried out their own roller coaster. With several styrofoam pipe insulators, some tape and a marble, they created roller coasters.
As a team, they tried different ideas to make the most complex roller coaster that they could. They talked about slope and speed. They were trying to get enough energy going so the marble would glide easily through twists and turns. Students played, and as they played, they talked physics.