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In this activity, learners build a model roller coaster to help the Mummy entertain the Atom's Family monsters. Learners assemble the roller coaster between two chairs using vinyl ceiling molding. Learners explore potential and kinetic energy as the marble travels back and forth along the track. Learners also measure the highest point each time the marble rolls up the track as well as investigate energy loss and energy conversion.

Quick Guide

Preparation Time:
Under 5 minutes

Learning Time:
10 to 30 minutes

Estimated Materials Cost:
$1 - $5 per group of students

Age Range:
Ages 8 - 14

Resource Types:
Activity, Model


Materials List (per group of students)

  • two chairs
  • masking tape
  • yard sticks
  • 3 shooter marbles
  • one 8-foot strip of vinyl ceiling molding


  • Engineering and Technology
    • Engineering
      • Mechanical Engineering
  • Mathematics
    • Measurement
  • Physical Sciences
    • Energy
      • Potential and Kinetic Energy
    • Motion and Forces
      • Gravity
      • Acceleration
  • The Nature of Science
    • The Scientific Process
      • Conducting Investigations
      • Formulating Explanations

Informal Categories

  • Model Building
  • Toys


To use this activity, learners need to:

  • see
  • touch

Learning styles supported:

  • Involves hands-on or lab activities


This resource is part of:

Access Rights:

  • Free access


  • Little, Carlyn ; LaHart, David ; Meyers, Ted ; Weisblat, Brooks


  • All rights reserved, Museum of Science, Inc. (Miami, FL), 1997

Funding Source:

  • Unisys