Before You Start
45 minutes-1 hour
TOTAL PROJECT TIME:
physics, forces, motion, centripetal force, circular motion
Have you ever wondered what keeps you in your seat when you are riding a giant loop-de-loop roller coaster? Surprisingly, it is not the seat belt! You are kept in your seat because of something called centripetal force. Centripetal force actually does much more than make a ride on a roller coaster’s loop possible — it keeps a satellite in orbit and you in your bicycle when taking a tight curve! In this science activity, you will use marbles and Jell-O® to investigate centripetal force and circular motion. Which way will the marbles go?
Teisha Rowland, PhD, Science Buddies
This activity is not appropriate for use as a science fair project. Good science fair projects have a stronger focus on controlling variables, taking accurate measurements, and analyzing data. To find a science fair project that is just right for you, browse our library of over 1,150 Science Fair Project Ideas or use the Topic Selection Wizard to get a personalized project recommendation.