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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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I am so impressed with this unit which manages to be distance learning and hands-on at the same time.  Really well thought out and engaging activities that allow students to practice each of the eight Science and Engineering Practices.  Really no prep for me!

 
Science and Engineering Practices Distance Education Unit

Tina S

Teaching Science with Lynda R. Williams
5
2016-05-03T18:05:39-06:00

Tina S

I am so impressed with this unit which manages to be distance learning and hands-on at the same time.  Really well thought out and engaging activities that allow students to practice each of the eight Science and Engineering Practices.  Really no prep for me!   Science and Engineering Practices Distance Education Unit
The elephant article was excellent but I also thought the lab on dissecting a flower was broken down so easily, even telling me where to get inexpensive flowers!  This resource helped me teach this challenging standard in an engaging way.  Worth every penny!

 
Structure and Function NGSS 4-LS1-1 and 4-LS1-2

Richard S

Teaching Science with Lynda R. Williams
5
2016-05-03T18:07:52-06:00

Richard S

The elephant article was excellent but I also thought the lab on dissecting a flower was broken down so easily, even telling me where to get inexpensive flowers!  This resource helped me teach this challenging standard in an engaging way.  Worth every penny!   Structure and Function NGSS 4-LS1-1 and 4-LS1-2
As always, Lynda provides perfect alignment with the standards.

 
Age of the Earth and Geologic Time Scale NGSS MS ESS1-4

Sharon M

Teaching Science with Lynda R. Williams
5
2016-05-03T18:24:44-06:00

Sharon M

As always, Lynda provides perfect alignment with the standards.   Age of the Earth and Geologic Time Scale NGSS MS ESS1-4
Thank you so much for creating this resource! It is such a fun and engaging activity for my students, especially during distance learning.

 
Honey Bee Digital Escape Distance Learning

Expedition Fourth

Teaching Science with Lynda R. Williams
2020-11-03T20:44:55-07:00

Expedition Fourth

Thank you so much for creating this resource! It is such a fun and engaging activity for my students, especially during distance learning.   Honey Bee Digital Escape Distance Learning
My students loved this unit. I was able to present different elements of it throughout the month. It is hard to find interesting non-fictional, age-appropriate text for my students that they will enjoy. This was a great unit that aligned well for my students who have very different goals within the same group.

 
Compare and Contrast Two Texts on Reindeer

Heidi J

Teaching Science with Lynda R. Williams
2020-11-03T20:45:49-07:00

Heidi J

My students loved this unit. I was able to present different elements of it throughout the month. It is hard to find interesting non-fictional, age-appropriate text for my students that they will enjoy. This was a great unit that aligned well for my students who have very different goals within the same group.   Compare and Contrast Two Texts on Reindeer
5
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Teaching Science with Lynda R. Williams