On A Roll
Physics, the fun way

marble coasters 011

The AP Physics classes have been working hard

Maddie DePaoli

M. DePaoli

the last few weeks building marble roller coasters. This is the first time students have done the project, and it has been a success. These coasters translate the material the class is learning by using kinetic and potential energy as well as Newton’s second law of motion, and basic concepts of motion such as position, velocity and acceleration.

“It helped us recognize the constraints placed by the fundamental laws of physics and learning to work within these constraints was critical to the success of this project,” says AP Physics student, Grace Palaparty.

Students had to construct a freestanding structure on a 20” by 30” foam base. The only materials they were allowed to use were tape and cardstock and the marbles had to be in motion for at least 30 seconds. They were also required to include a certain number of structural components like corkscrews, spirals, and sharp turns.

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