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Exploring Energy Transfer at Wading River School

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Science, technology, engineering and math skills were in full force during a STEM activity for fourth-graders at Wading River School as part of the district’s Mystery Science program, an innovative approach to learning that is aligned to the Next Generation Science Standards.

The students built a bumper roller coaster with hills to examine how height affects the energy produced by a roller coaster and explored what occurs when the second hill of a coaster is higher than the first. They released a marble at different points on the track to get both a target marble and the starting marble in a cup at the end of the track.

The experiment helped the students to build a deeper understanding of energy and the energy transfer that happens when two objects collide. Their hands-on activity brought into focus engineering concepts and how testing their hypotheses form their results.