Roller Coaster STEM Challenge (K-5)

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Roller Coaster STEM Challenge (K-5)

3.75

Subjects: Engineering Design, General Science, Space Sciences

Grades: Kindergarten - 5th 

Resource Type: Stage 2 - Engineering Design Challenge

Teaching Duration: 2 hours

Total Pages: 24

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Who doesn't love roller coasters? Using the engineering design process, student teams are tasked with designing a thrilling roller coaster ride! Students learn about the science of roller coasters including various forms of energy, and then using common materials such as craft sticks, paper, and tape, students need to design a track for a ping pong ball to land safely in a cup at the bottom. The student packet also includes STEM career highlights of civil engineering and psychology to bring a real-world STEM connection.

Our students loved this activity! While intended to be completed in a one-hour session, the high engagement from students turned the roller coaster STEM challenge into a multi-day project and part of an end of year showcase for parents.

As with many STEM activities that are student-driven, this challenge can be tailored to students of various skill levels and abilities.

Included in this product:

  • Detailed teachers guide with links to resources

  • Grading rubric for the engineering design process

  • STEM Career Connections

  • Real-world STEM history and science handouts

  • Student handouts to guide them through the engineering design process