Physics of Roller Coasters Lab

Grades: 2-8
Duration: 90 minutes

Available Times: 9:30 a.m. and 12:30 p.m.

*Start and end times may be flexible. Please speak to the Group Reservations specialist when booking.

Concepts/Skills: Gravity, Potential Energy, Kinetic Energy, Engineering Design


Discover the science and engineering behind thrill rides! Students explore kinetic and potential energy, friction and the engineering process by designing and prototyping their own roller coasters.

Lab Guide

Design a robust learning experience by selecting resources from this guide that fit the needs of your students. Reinforce learning before, after and even during your visit by diving deeper into some of the science and engineering concepts.

Lab-Related Activities

Lessons marked with an orange gear icon address engineering within the Next Generation Science Standards.

Circle of Pong

Grades 2-12

Use knowledge of energy and forces to place a ball in the center of a 6 foot diameter circle. Iterate through this design challenge, to gain first-hand experience using the Innovation Design Process.

Lesson: 65 minutes

Energy Red Light, Green Light

Grades 2-4

Outdoor exercise game deepens understanding of potential and kinetic energy.

Exploring Chain Reactions

Grades 4-8

Explore concepts around simple machines and energy transfer by building components for chain reactions.

Lesson: 60 minutes
Activity: 30 minutes

Vocabulary Choice Board

Grades K-12

Vocabulary activities to pair with one of our labs or other STEM activities.

Lesson: 20-30 min

Physics of Roller Coasters Lab

Exhibit Connections

Make connections between learning from the lab and the exhibits and programs found in The Tech Interactive’s galleries. For more exhibit connections, see the Lab Guide above.