Disclosure: I am an Amazon associate, and this post contains affiliate links. For full disclosure, please click here and thank you for supporting my blog!
Project Set Up and MaterialsSmarty built this project in her gifted enrichment after class led by Children’s Discovery Museum of San Jose. Students were given the following materials:
- A paper cup
- Foam Pipe insulation, cut in half
- Masking tape
- Support materials - Cardboard tubes, dowels, large tongue depressors
Build Your Roller Coaster
Many students built traditional roller coasters with one loop. Smarty, however, decided to build a “Cobra coaster”. She wanted to have a vertical drop and then a hill. She discovered rather quickly that the marble gets off the track in this design. She solved this problem by “sewing” a foam pipe back together with toothpicks. She said that it’s even more thrilling to ride her “Cobra coaster” in the darkness.
We had a bit of a problem getting her roller coaster into a car – her supports collapsed and she tried to rebuild them at home. We had a rather heated discussion during her efforts to fix it up. I tried to explain to her why her top part is not stable, and she advised me that it’s her project, not mine. See, this is why I am glad that she gets to do this kind of projects in school :) Not only she does her own projects, she also learns from more “hands-on” kids – some of her classmates built amazing two loop roller coasters that actually worked. Perhaps your kids might surprise you with their designs too.
More Engineering Projects for Kids?
From my blog: