Ready, Set, Roll! Is Back: Build Your Own Roller Coaster at Home

30 01 2012

Have you ever watched skiers going down their track, or gone so fast down a slide that you never thought that you would stop?

With the welcome return of the Ready, Set, Roll exhibit, we thought that we should investigate how you could create your own working track from materials that can be found in your own home.

What you will need:

-Tubing for example: Toilet paper roll, wrapping paper tubes, insulation tubes

-A variety of balls (sizes and weights)

-Tape

Extras:

-Cups

-Books (used to raise height)

We had fun experimenting with different tubes to see how crazy our roller coaster could get! Check it out:

First we built a simple ramp (like a ski jump). The aim of this track is to allow the ball to pick up as much speed (acceleration) while it is traveling down the ramp and finally to land in one of the cups at the bottom.

From this we then tried the same ramp with different balls of different sizes and weights. Would the different sizes/ weights of the balls make a difference?

The image below shows a more advanced track, this time including a loop in the middle. In order to make it around the loop, your ball needs to gain enough velocity. What can you do to make sure your ball builds enough speed to conquer the Loop d’Loop?


To add an obstacle to your track, try adding a jump to see if your ball can make it across the gap.

For our jump, we used paper cups to hold up the track. Do you think you could make a wider gap for your roller coaster?

Finally, you can add a spiral cone to catch the ball in at the end of your track! It is very easy to make–Just draw a circle on a piece of paper, then either cut out a circle or have an adult do it for you. Next, you tape both of the sides together and add your finishing touch to the track!

You can make your roller coaster as long, loopy, or extreme as you want! See how adventurous you can get.

Once you’ve created your own coaster, you can try out ours at the Museum!

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