Today in AP Physics I gave the students a challenge: They needed to create a marble roller coaster using the Quercetti Roller Coaster kits . As a physicist I am pleased that they come from the land of Fermi.
AP students were required to do the following
1) Build a roller coaster that takes a marble down the track and ejects it horizontally above the ground
2) Predict where on the ground the marble should land
3) Explain the discrepancy in the predicted vs. actual landing site. What other factors besides, friction, dissipated energy, or human error can explain this discrepancy?
The goal is to see if they can get to the idea that rotational energy is a significant portion of an object’s energy.