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Physics Project 3 – Roller Coaster

Daily Journal


Day One – Sketched a drawing of the roller coaster

Made a shopping list for the materials needed to build the project

Day Two – Purchased all materials needed (note: all measurements are in inches)





Any (at least 30 x 35 in area)

Covers and walls of the roller coaster


Rolled Flashing – Economy 10 x 10

Path of the roller coaster

Hot Glue Gun & Glue Sticks


Pasting the items together



Stretch out the walls of the coaster


Clear is preferred

Pasting the items together


Rectangular 7 x 33

Base of the finishing product

Hot Wheels


For testing

Golf Ball


For testing

Day Three – Cut out the covers / walls for the roller coaster

beginning with the basic form of the loop
then cut out the runway and the second elevation

See diagram below

pasted one end of the circle to the other end of the other circle with clear tape (if taped correctly, you should form a spiral)
pull gently outward on both side of the spiral, you should see the basic form of the loop of your roller coaster!

Day Four – Built roller coaster runway and the second elevation

use two pieces of cardboard and cut out the walls of the roller coaster (begin with the second elevation)

See diagram for the shapes I used


use Styrofoam to extend the walls (by shaping out the same curves of the wall and paste it between the walls with a hot glue gun)

Day Five – Used Styrofoam to extend the loop

the easiest way to do this is to cut out 5 or 6 (3 x 2.5) rectangles
then paste them along the loop with hot glue

Caution: DO NOT attempt to move the rectangles while the glue is still wet, you can really burn yourself. I learned this the hard way!

Day Six – Created the runway for the roller coaster

cut a 30 x 10 rectangle from cardboard
fold the cardboard as shown below
paste with either tape or hot glue to the other end of the spiral, similar to the procedure used for pasting the 2nd elevation
use Styrofoam, if needed, to even the path from the runway to the spiral

Day Seven – Applied the inside lining for the entire roller coaster

make sure you ware a pair of special gloves to avoid cutting yourself
cut out about 2.5 wide and 75 ~ 80 inches long of the aluminum
paste the lining (aluminum) along the previously pasted Styrofoam rectangles
use Styrofoam under the aluminum, if needed, to form a smooth path for the roller coaster
allow the hot glue to dry

Day Eight - Attached the finishing product to a base for free-standing purposes

use the 7 x 33 wood
use hot glue to attach the roller coaster to the wood
add more weight on the wood if needed to support the roller coaster from tipping
decorate the final product if desired


Project is done!


For more detail, see photo if available

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Copyright 1995 Mr. Lewis Classroom for Physics & Biology. All rights reserved.