Learning Goal: Understand the Law of Conservation of Energy.
Today: Roller Coaster Design Investigation
- Given: pipe insulation, marbles, tape, ring stands & clamps, timing & measuring devices and apps
- Find: Design a simple roller coaster to test whether the total energy of a car–Earth system is conserved if there are no external forces exerted on it by other objects. Your coaster should include a camelback and a vertical loop.
- Report: Include multiple representations of energy at various (4-5) points in the coaster to provide evidence for your claims. You should include a bar chart (see this tutorial for help), the mathematical expression of conservation of energy (use the bar charts as your guide), and the corresponding calculations to evaluate whether the outcome of the experiment supports the idea of energy conservation.
- Graph: (On graph paper or computer/spreadsheet). Energy vs. point on the coaster. Three lines - kinetic energy at each point, potential energy at each point, total mechanical energy at each point.