When science and Christmas collide

Freshman physical science students at Meeker High School finished their roller coaster project this month. Students had three or four weeks to plan, design, build and test their roller coasters, learning about different forms of energy. Niki Turner photo

MEEKER | The freshman physical science class at Meeker High School put together their annual roller 100_0381coaster project.
According to science instructor Michelle Selle, the project is a cross-curriculum activity that allows students to combine artistic and technical skills, math, writing and science.
“Their goal was to minimize energy loss by minimizing how much energy was transferred out as sound, thermal and kinetic (to movement on the track). They calculated their gravitational potential energy (stored energy) at the beginning and their kinetic energy (energy of motion) of the marble at the base,” Selle said via email.
Students had three to four weeks to create the coasters, which were judged by judges from the school board, district staff and physics students.
“I was super proud of the students and the hard work they put into this project. After assessing them on their knowledge of energy transformations and calculations after the project, they demonstrated that they learned a lot from this project,” Selle added.