# Title: ROLLER COASTERS – SLOPES IN ACTION Grade: 9th Objective: The goal of this project is to explore the effect

of slope on the decisions made in roller coaster design. Standards: ODE (Grade 8)—6. Describe the relationship between the graph of a line and its equation, including being able to explain the meaning of slope as a constant rate of change and y-intercept in real-world problems. ODE Benchmark (Grade 8-10)—J. Describe and interpret rates of change from graphical and numerical data.

Materials: Two 6 foot sections of foam pipe insulation, marble, scissors, masking tape, tape measure or ruler/yard stick, desk or shelf for roller coasters starting position

Lesson Procedure: A. Launch (5 min)  Write the following question on the board and have students write on a piece of paper their hypothesis and an explanation of why they chose their hypothesis: “What should the slope of a hill be in order for a marble to make it safely through a loop-the-loop?”  You should have your advanced organizer on the board telling the students the plan for today. Explain to the students what will be happening throughout the lesson—“In this construction project, you will use foam pipe insulation to make a “roller coaster” track. For the roller coaster cars, you will need a marble. We will try to determine the minimum (or smallest) slope at which the marble easily makes it through the loop-the-loop you constructed. You will conduct several tests (about 10) at different slopes to see whether the marble can loop the loop or not. In other words you will be measuring many slopes. Remember rise/run that we will be expressing slope as the ratio . Rise will be the height of the starting run point, and run will be the horizontal distance from the starting point to the beginning of the loop. Use the following diagram to help you determine both rise and run. Remember the goal is to determine the minimum slope at which the “roller coaster car” will safely navigate the loop.

B. Exlpore (40 min) Procedures of the Experiment  Give the students this “Procedures of the Experiment” worksheet in order to follow along while constructing their roller coaster. Procedures of the Experiment 1. Cut the foam pipe insulation in half to make two U-shaped channels. Use the following picture as a reference for where you need to make the cuts. Notice the circle and the line; make cuts at these points along the entire length of the tubing.

2. You are eventually going to construct a loop. Choose a diameter for your loop; you many want to start small (in the range of 30 centimeters to 50 centimeters). With what diameter did you choose to begin? ________________ 3. You should now have two lengths of U-shaped foam. To form the track, tape these two together, endto-end. The joint (where the pieces meet in the middle) should be as smooth as you can get it.

4. Curl part of the track into a loop which has the diameter you indicated in step #2. Tape the track together where the two tracks meet at the bottom. 5. Raise an end of the track up to make a ramp coming down into the loop, and tape the top of the ramp in place on your desk or another shelf in the classroom. 6. Now tape the loop down to the floor. 7. You are now ready to take measurements and fill in table #1. Measure the diameter of the loop, the height of the starting point of the track (rise), and the horizontal distance from the track starting point to the beginning of the loop (run). Refer to the illustration in the introduction if necessary. 8. Run the marble down the track a total of 10 times. Record the number of times it successfully goes through the loop. The sheets in which to work these are shown below in the attachments. 9. Change the height and repeat steps 7 and 8. If, with the first height, the marble made it through the loop most of the time, choose a lower height. If, with the first height, the marble fails to make it through the loop most of the time, choose a greater height. 10. Choose one last height and repeat steps 7 and 8 once more. C. Share/Summarize (15 minutes)    Bring the class back together as one unit. Ask them to share their findings and what factors effected their trials. Simultaneously as students are sharing their findings the teacher should make a chart on the board to show the similarities and differences each group has. Have students conclude the day by answering the conclusion questions that are posted in the attachments.

Student Summative Assessment: On an upcoming quiz students will be asked to review their knowledge about slopes of lines. Some questions will give students two coordinate points and ask them to find the slope, while other questions will ask them to give the slope of a vertical and/or horizontal line. This quiz can be found in the attachments. Differentiation/Accommodations: Students who have learning disabilities will be paired with students who can aid them and guide them in their experiments. They will be given the role of recorder and asked to fill out the trial sheets for the whole group. Students who need more guidance from the instructor will perform their experiment close to the teacher’s desk so that he/she may easily aid the student(s) when in need. Homework Options and Home Connections: Students will be told to get ready to prepare their project for the upcoming class. They should model a real roller coaster setting to make it appealing to the eye. Their actual construction of the loop does not

need to be a part of the setting as it is not to scale to the “real life” model they will be making and is not the whole roller coaster. This will allow the students to tap into their artistic capabilities and express themselves in a new light. They can even play the type of music they would want while customers wait in line to ride the ride. This allows students to express their musical interests and allows the class to feel what type of roller coaster this will aim to be—scary, upbeat, thrill, etc. Attachments: Trial worksheets, conclusion questions, slope quiz References: http://users.manchester.edu/student/ampyle/ProfessionalWebsite/Roller%20Coaster%20_Slope_%20L ab.pdf

Trial Worksheets:

Conclusion Questions:

Conclusion
Discuss the following questions with complete sentences. 1.) At what slope was the roller coaster track most successful? 2.) How many times did the marble make a successful run? 3.) Suppose you were really a roller coaster designer. Would you be satisfied with the success rate of your best slope (the smallest slope at which the roller coaster was most successful)?

4.) What percent of success would an actual designer hope to see? 5.) Discuss how the changes you made in the rise and run impacted the slope.

6.) Finally, what are some other things (besides slope) that may have affected the ball’s ability to make it through the loop?

Quiz: Slope Quiz Name____________ Date_____________ 1.) (6 points) Find the slope of a line passing through the given points. a. (0, 2) and (2, 5) Score___________

b. (-2, 1) and (3, -1)

2.) (2 points) What is the slope of a horizontal line?

3.) (2 points) What is the slope of a vertical line?