We’re going to build monster roller coasters in your house using just a couple of simple materials. You might have heard how energy cannot be created or destroyed, but it can be transferred or transformed (if you haven’t that’s okay – you’ll pick it up while doing this activity).
Roller coasters are a prime example of energy transfer: You start at the top of a big hill at low speeds (high gravitational potential energy), then race down a slope at break-neck speed (potential transforming into kinetic) until you bottom out and enter a loop (highest kinetic energy, lowest potential energy). At the top of the loop, your speed slows (increasing your potential energy), but then you speed up again and you zoom near the bottom exit of the loop (increasing your kinetic energy), and you’re off again!
Here’s what you need:
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