I mentioned earlier in the week that I started a new birthday tradition of volunteering in the classroom. Marble Roller Coasters is my all time favorite lesson, so I thought the bigger kids at J's school would have fun with it. They did!
The main takeaway of the lesson was classifying if they had too much or too little energy. I did a small demonstration where I told them about potential energy and how things up high potentially fall down. If something is close to the ground, it doesn't have a lot of energy. If it's way up high, it has a lot of energy.
With that guidance, everyone started their roller coasters up high.
We also learned that there wasn't enough energy for the marble to make it all the way back up the track if the track was shaped like a "U".
They also learned if their drop was too steep, the marble would have too much energy and jump the track. They had to modify where they started the marble or the angle of the drop in order to keep the marble on the track because nobody wants to be on a roller coaster that jumps the track. That would be scary!
Most groups made roller coaster drops, some as long as half the length of the room. One group made a loop with their roller coaster.
Some groups crisscrossed their tracks with other groups.
All in all, the kids had a great time. I consider my birthday lesson a success!