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Designing and Building in 8th Grade

By Betty Hyde-McGuire, 8th grade science teacher – Sandwich STEM Academy

Roller-coasters and the study of Physics naturally go together.  In the 8th grade STEM academy we have been exploring the transformation of potential to kinetic energy, and physically engaging in the exploration of material properties along with  the forces of gravity and friction by building our own roller-coasters.  These activities naturally lead to the investigation of Newton’s laws including the mathematical calculations of force, mass and acceleration.  Engaging student’s minds using hands manipulation of materials assists in the transfer of technical science concepts to  everyday experiences