Page 41 - Flip Builder
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We all quickly found the trick. The  rst hill had to be the largest. If it was the tallest, the coaster then had a lot of momentum to go up the loops or hills that were in store for later, because if you go down a high slope, you gain speed on the way down. Other factors that were needed included a hill at the end so the coaster would stop in  me and the right number of cars to change the mass of the coaster.
Once these lessons were learned, we all made fun rides with plenty of loops and hills. Each  me we tested our design on the website, we got a ra ng based on “rider screams.” The higher, the be er. The feeling of seeing our onscreen roller coasters get a high ranking was indescribable!
A er, we learned how to design online, we took it to the next level: We built our own marble roller coasters. We separated into groups, with two sets of tracks and lots of tape. The task was a challenge because we really had to communicate to get it done. We cut paper towel holders to make roofs and supports for hills. We also got to choose the mass of the marble (the coaster) because it a ected the speed. We weighed the marbles, experimented with them, and
chose the one that worked best for our design. It was very interes ng to see what other groups chose to make their ride speed up or slow down. Most teams used tape to gain speed. Tape had less fric on, so the marble went faster on it. To slow it down, some people stuck toothpicks inside the tubes as bumps. The toothpicks had the e ect of slowing the ride and making it come to a stop.
It wasn’t as perfect as it sounded, through. The classes one  oor under us probably heard our exasperated yells every  me the ride didn’t work. Some mes a group sent a marble o  on its ride and it  ew o  the top of a hill. Other  mes the marble didn’t make it through a loop and started going the opposite way instead. We had to do a lot of problem solving. Pu ng a roof over a hill usually made the marble stay on course, but if it didn’t, we had to change just one variable at a  me un l we found the problem.
Once the day came to show our classmates our rides, most of our marbles stayed on the tracks. We thought they would have been fun courses to ride at an amusement park. We all agreed, science was never more fun!

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