Paper Roller Coaster title
Click to download the pdf version of the lab Click here to view/download a pdf version, part 1 of 2, of the lab.(1.1 MB)
Click to download the pdf version of the lab Click here to view/download a pdf version, part 2 of 2, of the lab.(181 KB)
Your lab results are to be turned in via Google Docs. Check your account for a shared document called, "Paper Coaster Lab Data."
 
This project has two components

Contest Build Rules

Thinking like a scientist means making a plan, thinking about the “what if’s,” solving problems, adapting to new situations and adjusting to changes. With this in mind, each honors student is to complete one of three projects. Each project consists of an experiment that can be completed within 60 minutes, and a construction component. Students are encouraged to work with a partner to make a team of two. There are three projects offered during the year. They count as a test grade.

 
Construction requirements for the paper roller coaster.
  • Paper templates will be supplied.
  • Online videos showing how to make the various pieces will be supplied.
  • Other materials you must supply
  • Magazine
  • Ball point pen (a ball point works best.)
  • 12" ruler
  • 1 roll of transparent tape (Scotch(tm) tape)
  • Scissors
  • 1 piece of foam core 12" by no more than 30"
  • 1 marble
The coaster must be built on a base. Foam core board is the easiest material to use. It is available at Walmart, Kmart, Target, CVS and Michaels -to name a few stores. The base can be as long as 30 inches or as short as 21 inches. The base must be 12 inches wide -no less, no more. These dimensions have been chosen to make construction easier and to ensure that you don't bite off more than you can handle. The track and curves may extend slightly beyond the columns and beams supporting the ride. This means the track itself can go slightly beyond the 12 x 30 inch base dimensions.
Foam Core Base Size
 
The following conditions must be met for complete credit
  • It needs to work without helping the marble along and by starting the marble from rest.
  • At least 2 loops
  • At least 1 funnel.
  • At least one track design piece that is not one of the 7 templates. But it can be made from them or pieces of them and you can add your own pieces from any material.
  • The smallest dimension on the base is to 12"
  • Sturdy construction

  • Diagonal pieces on columns on the base.
  • Horizontal beams every 18 inches of height and a horizontal ring of beams at the top.
  • The largest dimension on the base is between 21 and 30"
  • Maximum height is 30 inches or less for the track. Decorations may exceed this height.
  • Your coaster must have a name.
  • Remove the coaster from the room by or before the removal date.

Construction Videos
Paper Roller Coaster Constructions Tips (YouTube video)
Paper Roller Coaster Construction: How to make the paper columns (YouTube video)
Paper Roller Coaster Construction: How to make and attach the horizontal beams (YouTube video)
Paper Roller Coaster Construction: How to make and attach the diagonal supports (YouTube video)
Paper Roller Coaster: How to make the paper tracks (YouTube Video)
Paper Roller Coaster Construction: How to make the paper loops (YouTube video)
Paper Roller Coaster Construction: How to make the shelves that support the track (YouTube video)
Paper Roller Coaster Construction: How to make the funnel (YouTube video)
Paper Roller Coaster Construction: How to make the merge (YouTube video)
Paper Roller Coaster Construction: How to make the turns. (YouTube video)

Extra Credit One
You are also competing for extra credit points to be added to the score. This will make it possible to receive more than 100 % for the project. This is done by winning one or more of the following competitions. Each teacher will make an award to someone in his or her own class.
 
Best scenery
  Lots of quality scenery covering the entire coaster and platform. Spending money on fancy scenery will not automatically make you a winner. Simple but clever or well done, campy, designs show more creativity -especially when they support the name and theme of your coaster.
Best Theme
  What's the name of your roller coaster? Does your scenery support this theme? Does the design support your theme? Is there a coolness or cleverness factor to your name?
Most creative design element
  Looking for something different. You may use items not made from paper for this.
Most complex design.
  Wow. Were looking at the loops, twists ,dips, turns, etc.
   
Extra Credit: for students who are not required to do the project as one of his or her required projects.
Check with your teacher for the extra credit's value. If you are doing this purely for extra credit, then you do not need to do the lab component. You only need to build the coaster according to the same guidelines as everyone else -including turning it in and remove it on time.
 
 
 
 

by Tony Wayne ...(If you are a teacher, please feel free to use these resources in your teaching.)