ALEX Lesson Plan

     

Roller Coaster Design

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  This lesson provided by:  
Author:Brian Sauls
System: Albertville City
School: Albertville Middle School
The event this resource created for:ASTA
  General Lesson Information  
Lesson Plan ID: 34532

Title:

Roller Coaster Design

Overview/Annotation:

Students will design a roller coaster using marbles and foam pipe insulation to observe the relationship between potential and kinetic energy. Students will calculate the average speed of the marble and relate that speed to the potential and kinetic energy of the marble. Students will use various angles and track designs to see the impact it has on marble speed.

This lesson results from a collaboration between the Alabama State Department of Education and ASTA.

 Associated Standards and Objectives 
Content Standard(s):
Science
SC2015 (2015)
Grade: 8
Physical Science
14 ) Use models to construct an explanation of how a system of objects may contain varying types and amounts of potential energy (e.g., observing the movement of a roller coaster cart at various inclines, changing the tension in a rubber band, varying the number of batteries connected in a series, observing a balloon with static electrical charge being brought closer to a classmate's hair).

Insight Unpacked Content
Scientific And Engineering Practices:
Developing and Using Models
Crosscutting Concepts: Systems and System Models
Disciplinary Core Idea: Energy
Evidence Of Student Attainment:
Students:
  • Construct an explanation, using models, to show how a system of objects may contain varying types of potential energy.
  • Construct an explanation, using models, to show how a system of objects may contain varying amounts of potential energy.
Teacher Vocabulary:
  • Model
  • System
  • Potential energy
  • Force
  • Electric force
  • Magnetic force
  • Gravitational force
Knowledge:
Students know:
  • Potential energy is stored energy.
  • When two objects interact a distance, each one exerts a force on the other that can cause energy to be transferred to or from an object. The exerted forces may include electric, magnetic, or gravitational forces.
  • As the relative position of two objects (neutral, charged, magnetic) changes, the potential energy of the system (associated with interactions via electric, magnetic, and gravitational forces) changes.
  • Elastic potential energy is potential energy stored as a result of work done to an elastic object, such as the stretching of a spring. It is equal to the work done to stretch the spring, which depends upon the spring constant k as well as the distance stretched.
Skills:
Students are able to:
  • Use a model of a system containing varying types and amounts of potential energy and identify the relevant components.
  • Describe the relationships between components of the model.
  • Articulate a statement that relates a given phenomenon to a scientific idea, including how a system of objects may contain varying types and amounts of potential energy.
Understanding:
Students understand that:
  • The types of potential energy in a system of objects may include electric, magnetic, or gravitational potential energy.
  • The amount of potential energy in a system of objects changes when the distance between stationary objects interacting in the system changes because a force has to be applied to move two attracting objects farther apart, or a force has to be applied to move two repelling objects closer together, both resulting in a transfer of energy to the system.
AMSTI Resources:
AMSTI Module:
Experimenting with Forces and Motion

NAEP Framework
NAEP Statement::
P12.13: The potential energy of an object on Earth's surface is increased when the object's position is changed from one closer to Earth's surface to one farther from Earth's surface.

NAEP Statement::
P8.9a: Three forms of potential energy are gravitational, elastic, and chemical.

NAEP Statement::
P8.9b: Gravitational potential energy changes in a system as the relative positions of objects are changed.

NAEP Statement::
P8.9c: Objects can have elastic potential energy due to their compression, or chemical potential energy due to the nature and arrangement of the atoms.


Local/National Standards:

 

Primary Learning Objective(s):

Students will construct an explanation, using models, to show how a system of objects may contain varying types and amounts of potential energy.

Additional Learning Objective(s):

 
 Preparation Information 

Total Duration:

Time Not Specified

Materials and Resources:

Foam Pipe Insulation (split in half) 2 pieces per group

Steel ball bearing

Masking tape 

Technology Resources Needed:

Computer with internet access and sound

Projector

Background/Preparation:

Students need to be able to calculate average speed. Students should understand the concepts of potential and kinetic energy (including gravitational potential energy).

The teacher must split the pipe insulation in half, and have one steel ball bearing and tape for each group.

  Procedures/Activities: 

1. Watch the following Bozeman Science video for an introduction/review of potential and kinetic energy. Students should answer the following pre-lab questions in their science notebooks as they watch: What is potential energy? What is kinetic energy? Describe gravitational potential energy.

2.  Students will design a roller coaster that has three hills. Build your roller coaster by attaching it with tape to any available surface (table, desk, walls). The design must allow the marble to reach the end of the track and stay on the track.

3. Roll the marble 5 times and record the time it takes to get to the end of the track. Calculate average speed with this information. Create a data table that includes 5 trials, distance of the track, time, and average speed (m/s).

4. Draw your roller coaster and include the heights of each hill.

5. To compare your coaster's potential energy with others in the class, what was the combined height of the three hills of your coaster? Indicate on your coaster where the potential energy was the greatest. Indicate on your drawing where the potential energy is increasing and where the kinetic energy is increasing. Indicate on your drawing where the kinetic energy is the greatest.


  Assessment  

Assessment Strategies

Teacher questioning to determine if students constructed a model of a roller coaster to explain how a system of objects may contain varying types and amounts of potential energy.

Check student notebook for understanding.

Acceleration:

Include a loop in your design and see how it affects the speed, potential energy, and kinetic energy of the coaster.

Intervention:

Some students may need to review how to calculate speed. 

 


View the Special Education resources for instructional guidance in providing modifications and adaptations for students with significant cognitive disabilities who qualify for the Alabama Alternate Assessment.