In this activity, students design and test a model vacuum tube train. They have to decide on how to get a ball to travel through a tube as quickly as possible without the help of gravity. They then look at the forces that would act on a real vacuum tube train.
Using the handout Train forces, students are asked to draw arrows to represent forces on the vacuum tube train when it is accelerating to its maximum speed, travelling at maximum speed and decelerating.
Curriculum links include friction, forces, speed, magnetism.
Other lessons and resources for this theme can be found in the Energy and Transport collection.