# Ball Bearing Roller Coasters and Teamwork Lab

Lesson Plan:

Ball Bearing Roller Coasters and Teamwork

TEAM NAMES...___________________  __________________

___________________  __________________

OBJECTIVE:         To design and "build" the largest (total height) 3 hill roller

coaster possible given 366 cm of tubing track and 3 BBs.

MATERIALS:        366 cm of clear vinyl tubing; 3 BBs; 2 or 3 meter sticks;

masking tape; test tube or small beaker; calculator; graph

paper; stopwatch (computer for graphs if preferred)

COOPERATIVE

GROUPS:             Groups of 4 people...1 head engineer, 2 assistant engineers,

1 recording/graphing engineer

PROCEDURE:        Divide the kids up randomly into groups of 4 with each group

determining assignments within the group.

Have kids come up with their own idea of what potential and

kinetic energy is on a roller coaster ride, and write it

down noting differences between the two and how one affects

the other on the ride.

Kids should brainstorm 2 different roller coaster configurations

each with 3 hills and 2 troughs and draw these from a side

view of how they would look.  Label as A and B.  Hypothesize

which will have the greatest potential and kinetic energy

overall and circle the letter.

Construct roller coaster A using the tubing and engineers holding

the tubing, insuring that the 2 troughs touch the ground and

that the beginning "hill" is between 60 and 120 cm off the

ground.  Experiment with coaster A changing hill heights and

widths of hill and troughs keeping hills similar to the

configuration in terms of which hill is highest, middle and

lowest.  Experiment until the BB coaster can make a complete

run all the way through.  Time three runs starting when the

assistant engineer counts "3-2-1-GO" and stopping the timing

when the "coaster" hits the glass at the bottom of the run.

(time to .01 secs)  Average the times.  Measure the 3 hills

from the ground up to the CENTER of the top of the hill in

the middle of the clear tubing "track" and add all 3

together.  Divide the total height of the hills by the

average time of the 3 runs.

Construct roller coaster B and do exactly as you did in coaster

A.

DELAB:      1.   Which of your roller coasters had the highest score?  What do

you think caused the difference between the two different

coasters' scores.  (You might want to use the terms

"potential" and "kinetic energy" in explaining this!)

2.  What was the average score between the two coasters?

3.  ACCURATELY GRAPH your two roller coaster designs using a

horizontal and vertical scale equal to 1 square = 10 cm..

Label the hill heights on each graph.  If using a computer

to graph, make sure that your vertical and horizontal scales

are the same.

EXTENSIONS:

4.  Come up with at least 3 different extensions which we

might try with this lab.

SELF-ASSESSMENT:

5.  Did we work together well as a team?

6.  How could we have improved our "teamwork" in the lab?

7.  What was the hardest thing that we encountered in the

lab?

8.  If we were to completely redo this lab from the very

beginning, we would change....