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CAGIS Clubhouse

Roller Coaster Engineering Challenge

It’s your turn to be a roller coaster engineer

Your challenge: to make a marble rollercoaster with the biggest loop!

The specs: you can be creative and use any materials you like to design and build your marble roller coaster. The only exceptions are pre-designed marble roller coaster kits, which cannot be used. Like our roller coaster engineer, Joelle Javier, please keep safety in mind! 

Parent/guardian supervision is recommended.

Background: Rollercoasters need energy to function.  Two types of energy rollercoasters use include potential and kinetic energy.
Potential energy is the energy stored by an object because of its state or its position relative to other objects. For example, a bike at the top of a hill has a lot of gravitational potential energy. The higher the hill, the more potential energy the bike has.  Or, an eraser in a slingshot has elastic potential energy. The more the elastic is stretched, the greater the potential energy of the eraser.  
Kinetic energy is the energy an object has because of its motion. The faster the motion, the greater the kinetic energy.  For example, a car travelling quickly on a highway has more kinetic energy than a bike travelling slowly in your neighbourhood.
When a rollercoaster functions, energy transfers back and forth between potential and kinetic energy.  The roller coaster has a lot of potential energy at the top of a hill.  As it drops and gains speed, energy transfers from potential to kinetic energy.  As the roller coaster climbs another hill, kinetic energy transfers to potential energy as the roller coaster gains height and loses speed.
These concepts will help you as you build your marble roller coaster.  Watch the demo video below, for an example of a marble roller coaster!

Need some inspiration?

Watch the video below to help you get started on your STEM Challenge!

Meet the Winners

Congratulations to Keerat (9) and Elissa (15)! Watch their winning entries below.
Share this contest!
roller coaster with loops