A student favorite! The marble roller coaster is an open-ended challenge: create the longest track possible without letting the marble fall off.
Ideal for rapid redesigning and exploring the conversion of potential energy to kinetic energy, and momentum!
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Tips and Troubleshooting
If the marbles are flying off of hills or bumps in the track, then...
Try making the hill larger so the marble expends more momentum before reaching the top, thus preventing it from flying off.
Remove the bump/hill, or transform it into a loop.
If the marbles are flying off curves in the track, then...
Turn the curved section of track on its side.
If the marbles are falling out of loops, then...
Make sure it has enough energy to move through the loop.
Make sure the loop is free of excess tape or small obstacles that might collide with the marble.
The loop may be too big. Even if the marble appears to have sufficient energy, very large loops (10"+ in diameter) are not sturdy enough. The marble's energy will be expended by pushing the loop around. Try making the loop smaller.