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Dont Lose Your

Brianna Martinez and Meggie Boerem

Rationale (or Summary)

We thought that a marble roller coaster would
be really fun to test and would be a little more
challenging than every other project.
The importance of this project is learning the
importance of kinetic energy and how different
heights have different kinetic energy.
Some background information we have found is
how to find kinetic energy, speed, and velocity.

Investigative Question
Which height of the track will create the
most kinetic energy of the marble?

If you start the marble at the highest starting
point, then the marble will have the most kinetic
energy as evidenced by the conversion of mass
and velocity to find the kinetic energy.

Our independent variable is the height of the
track that the marble runs down.
Our dependant variable is measuring the mass
of the marble, then find the velocity and speed
to convert that to the kinetic energy of the

The marble
Slope (run)

Materials Needed
At least two to three 6 ft. sections of 1- in a diameter
foam pipe insulation
Glass marble
Duct tape
Support for the roller coaster
Gram scale
Utility knife
Tape measure

Cut the foam pipe insulation in half (the long way) to make
two U-shaped channels.
Make 2 cuts with a utility knife.
The U-shaped channels will end up with 2 separate foam
To make the roller coaster track, duct tape the pipe to a
support (such as a bookcase) that will be your height (rise).
Also, the starting point of the track.
Duct Tape the wire to the track for structural support.
Now attach the slope(run) to the floor from the starting point.
Make sure for each track the slope is the same.

Procedure Part 2

Measure the mass of the marble and measure how long the
track is. Record both those items.
Run a single marble down the track 10 times for each 3 heights.
Use the stopwatch to measure the time it takes to finish the
track and record each time.
When the testing is done, find the average time. This will help
find the average speed which is distance/time and find the
velocity which is speed/time.
From your velocity and the mass of the marbles, calculate the
kinetic energy for each track.

The far one on
the left is the
2nd track, the
one in the
middle is the
3rd track, and
the one on the
far right is the
1st track.

(Taken by Brianna Martinez)

Data Table 1
Track #1

Data Table 2
Track #2

Data Table 3
Track #3

Graph 1


Number of Runs

Graph 2


Number of Runs

Graph #3


Number of Runs

Graph for Kinetic Energy

As seen in the data chart, track 2 had the greatest kinetic
energy of 49.9059J. The 2nd greatest is track 3 with the
kinetic energy of 38.8784J. The 3rd greatest is track 1 and the
kinetic energy is 26.325299J.

To conclude, our hypothesis was proven incorrect. We
hypothesized that track 1 would have the greatest kinetic
energy because it had the tallest height. There was a
significant difference between track 1 and 2. Track 1s kinetic
energy was 26.325299J and track 2s kinetic energy was
49.9059J. We think that our hypothesis was wrong because
the highest one has the longest distance to travel and it
doesnt have enough time to accelerate to a significantly
higher speed.

Next Time/Future Considerations

We would add different elements to the track
like loops and turns. We would also make the
tracks longer.

We would like to thank both of our parents for
buying the supplies and supporting us
throughout the project.

"Calculating Speed and Velocity." Calculating Speed and Velocity. Web. 07 Oct. 2014.
"Gravitational Potential Energy." GCSE Physics Energy Calculations RevisionWeb. 08 Oct. 2014.
"Kinetic Energy." Kinetic Energy. Web. 8 Oct. 2014.
"How Do You Find the Slope of a Ramp If You Know the Rise and Run?" Virtualnerd: Real Math Help
for School and Home. Web. 08 Oct. 2014.
"Physics for Kids." : Kinetic Energy. Web. 08 Oct. 2014.
"Roller Coaster Marbles: Converting Potential Energy to Kinetic Energy." Roller Coaster Marbles:
Converting Potential Energy to Kinetic Energy.Web. 08 Oct. 2014.