STEAM Craft – Create a Bead Run Roller Coaster

by EmmaS on the 15th of May 2017

Learn about engineering, speed, force and problem solving by building your very own Bead Run Roller coaster!

Experiment with the heights and distances between your roller coaster pillars in order to keep the bead on the right track or how about colour coding your tunnels and seeing if you can send the bead down the correct path!

You'll Need:

Other Materials Required: Large, thick, cardboard sheet (such as an old box unfolded), paint, scissors and a box cutter. Adult supervision recommended when using box cutter or scissors.

Step One – Making the tracks

To make the tracks for the bead run roller coaster cut out the middle, flat, white circle of the paper plate. Make sure you don’t cut them too thin as it will be much harder to keep the bead on the track!

Step Two – Making the pillars

The cardboard rolls will be used as the pillars that support the track. Use the masking tape to join rolls together and make them taller or the box cutter to cut rolls down and make them shorter.

Step Three – Assembling your Roller Coaster

Get a large piece of thick cardboard to use as your base such as an old box. Start assembling your roller coaster by experimenting with different heights and distances between your pillar and attaching the track to the rolls then the rolls to the cardboard base using masking tape.

CleverTip: Remember to test your roller coaster as you go to make sure the bead stays on the track – you may need to make adjustments.

Step Four – Tunnels

Create tunnels along your roller coaster using the cardboard tubes.

Step Five – Bumpers

Problem solve a steep, bendy track by cutting extra pieces of paper plate and attaching them as ‘bumpers’ to help keep the bead on the track.

Step Six – Adding Tracks

You can build as many different interweaving tracks as you like! Once you are happy, use paint to colour code the end points of your tracks as well as the beads, then challenge your friends to send the correct coloured bead down the correct coloured path!

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