Monday, February 9, 2015

Exploring Motion with Marble Coasters

We've been up to so much in my classroom lately, that I hardly know where to start! One of my favorite projects (and one of my students' favorites, too) was creating marble roller coasters.

In order to study motion, they were tasked with creating marble roller coasters. I gave them tiered options depending on the challenge they wanted:
Level 1- One hill and a curve
Level 2- Two hills
Level 3- A loop-de-loop

We first found a roller coaster engineer to Skype with which got them VERY excited!

They then experimented with pool noodles split in half and marbles. (If I was pressed for time, I might have just let them tape pool noodles to big pieces of cardboard as their project.)

After that, they created a plan and created their roller coasters using cardboard tubes from paper towel and toilet paper tubes and masking tape.

Here are some of their finished projects.

I really stressed the test and redesign part of the engineering process. This project was a lot of fun, but taught some of my students that failure is definitely okay and is something we have to persevere through.

And in case you are curious.... this little guy is the one who has been keeping me from blogging as much as I used to. I'm finally getting to the point where I feel like I can breathe again!

One last thing, for anyone who is an Etsy fan, I just started my new shop. Check it out if you'd like:

Have a great week!
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Jeanette Fink said...

Love your format, organization and photos. It makes me happy to read your blog and visit your room.

Amanda said...

Your project looks fantastic! I'm sure your students loved it; I like that it taught them that failure is ok, you just have to learn from it. Have a great weekend!

A Very Curious Class

Mark said...

I like fun science. I bet your kids enjoyed this even more than it shows. I did a groundhog science/math lesson on groundhog day that my kids also liked. It involved measuring shadows at different parts of the day. So we got in some measurement and sun/earth rotation discussion. Lesson is at Me and my shadow.

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