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Paper Roller Coasters - STEAM In Action At Millersburg Middle School

Today in Mrs. Mangle's middle school science class, students participated in the "Paper Roller Coaster Challenge".  The objective of this STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, Math) lesson was to:


"Work in groups of 2 or 3, utilizing your knowledge of Newton's 3 Laws of Motion to create a paper roller coaster that can carry a marble for the longest period of time without stopping".


The guidelines were:

  1. The model should be designed for a glass marble.  When released from the top of the first hill, the marble will travel through the entire ride and arrive at the bottom loading platform.

  2. Your team may use more than one marble

  3. Utilize only paper and tape.  Magnets, electricity, springs, and other forms of energy may not be used - this is a gravity ride only.

  4. No one is permitted to touch the coaster once the ride begins.

  5. There needs to be a clear "end" to your ride.

  6. You will have only three chances.  Your longest time will be the one you get graded on.

Bonus Points were added for Loops, Corkscrews, Jumps, Marble rolling uphill, Interesting Themes, and Openness of the track.


This lesson was packed full of the 4C's (Creativity, Critical Thinking, Collaboration, and Communication) which our district has identified as necessary soft skills for students to obtain jobs in the 21st Century work environment.  


The students were engaged and excited! Tomorrow, they will be creating drawings of their roller coasters and identifying the specific areas of the coasters that display Newton's 3 Laws of Motion.


More pictures and videos are available on our Facebook and Twitter Feeds.  Check them out!  Great work, Everyone!  #mlbgsdtribepride


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