The new Next Generation Science Standards focus on developing skills like critical thinking, research and analysis, and real-world application. Mr. Lee’s Science class has been a shining example of these standards in action. Students are buzzing with excitement and engagement in science class.
In 7th grade Science, Mr. Lee’s class has been learning about energy transfer. Students were tasked with creating roller coasters to model the transfer of energy from kinetic to potential. Made out of pipe insulating foam and using a marble as a car, these coasters were required to have one hill and one loop. Students were required to make sure that there were safety considerations (no derailing), as well as thrill value by adding extras such as corkscrews or loop de loops. Students were faced with many of the issues that face modern day engineers, one of the big ones being friction.
This lesson then doubled as a model for the law of conservation of energy and positional gravitational energy. The next time these students ride a roller coaster they will have a whole new appreciation for the science behind it!