Roller Coaster STEAM Challenge


Roller coasters are one of the most popular attractions at amusement parks. In this STEAM activity, students will explore the world of structural engineering, as well as the motion and speed of an object, as they create their own small-scale roller coaster model. Students will have 20 minutes to complete the activity.

Challenge: Using the materials below, build a roller coaster that includes at least three turns and can successfully transport a Ping-Pong ball or marble from the start to the end.

Suggested Materials: Straws, toothpicks, paper, index cards, masking tape, Ping-Pong ball or marble

Time Limit: 20 minutes

Learning Outcomes: Structural engineering, technical design, creative and critical thinking, problem-solving

Processing Questions:

  • What was your favorite part of this challenge?
  • What was the most difficult part of the challenge?
  • What other types of materials could you have used to build your roller coaster?
  • If you could build your roller coaster again, what other elements could you add to your design?


Cut-outs of a rocket ship and clouds. Text says, "Get more STEAM activities on our blog."