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Roller Coaster Builder

Source Institutions

    Lawrence Hall of Science

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Roller Coaster Builder

In this online activity about the physics of momentum and velocity, learners design their own roller coasters. Once the track has been built, the roller coaster is tested using a virtual ball. Through trial and error, the learner discovers how much momentum is needed to move the ball through the entire course.

Quick Guide

Preparation Time:
Under 5 minutes

Learning Time:
5 to 10 minutes

Estimated Materials Cost:

Age Range:
Ages 4 - 8

Resource Types:
Activity, Game, Simulation


Materials List (per student)

  • A computer (Windows XP or Vista; Mac OS 10.2.8 or higher) and an internet connection.


  • Physical Sciences
    • Motion and Forces
      • Gravity
      • Momentum and Velocity

Informal Categories

  • Computers
  • Games
  • Model Building


To use this activity, learners need to:

  • see
  • use keyboard
  • use mouse

Learning styles supported:

  • Involves hands-on or lab activities


This resource is part of:

Access Rights:

  • Free access



  • All Rights Reserved, The University of California Regents, ©2008

Funding Source:

  • National Science Foundation


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