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Making a Roller Coaster out of Foam Tubes and Marbles- includes Interactive Notebook Ideas

 This is a super inexpensive activity.  The foam tubes are about $1.80 for a 7 foot tube and you can slice it in half and make two ramps out of it.  The marbles and masking tape are also inexpensive. 

Awesome STEM Activity! 

  Students were given foam insulator tubes that had been sliced in half lengthwise, masking tape and marbles and asked to create a roller coaster design using what they know about gravity and motion.

They were allowed to use other materials and encouraged to test and retest their ideas.  

This activity is so much fun and can be done again on a rainy day.  The students will refine their thinking and try a new design.  The materials are pretty inexpensive too…and reusable.   I teach adult students (beginning teachers) and they loved it!

 Students designed their own write up in their interactive science notebooks.  Some use paint chips!

More Notebook Ideas

Students recorded their ideas.  The were asked to show revisions they made to designs and how they helped.  

Part of the fun of this one was the unguided inquiry and the continual testing that the students did to determine what worked and what did not.
I think once you do this lesson, you could pull the materials out again for a rainy day activity, which allows students to refine their thinking and try new ideas. 

I have also developed a roller coaster lesson aligned with 4th grade standards  Close Reading-and-Lab-on-Energy-NGSS-4-PS3-1-and-4-PS3-3-

Please share this blog post on Pinterest, g+ or Facebook. You may also enjoy another great STEM activity Balloon Rocket Lesson

You may also like my unit of STEM Engineering Lessons for Elementary

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