ROLLER COASTER PHYSICS
National Geographic gives viewers a behind-the-scenes look at the design and building of the world’s fastest and tallest roller coaster ride on the MegaStructures: Ultimate Roller Coaster webisodes. View the full episode on YOUTUBE.
Coaster Crafter is an immersive STEM learning game for students in grades 6-12. In the game, students explore and practice key STEM concepts by designing, building and sharing virtual roller coasters. And they get to interact with a cast of engaging and unique characters in a fun, carnival-like online environment. Game play, learning and motivation are linked in the game, where rewards for both success and failure motivate students to experiment more boldly, think more deeply and learn more completely.
DESIGN CHALLENGE LEVEL 1 & COASTER CHALLENGE LEVEL 1 - DUE TUESDAY
DESIGN CHALLENGE LEVELS 2,3 & COASTER CHALLENGE LEVELS 2,31 - DUE WEDNESDAY
Also of interest….
Visit “Roller Coasters: Inventing the Scream Machine” to learn more about the design and the history of roller coasters. Consider the ways coasters have been designed and built over time. What kinds of resources were available? What kinds of technology? Why could today’s roller coasters only be built today? What might coasters be like in the future?
…and here are some more sites to help you extend your learning:
- The How Stuff Works site covers everything about coasters – from physics to components to history. They even give tips for first-time riders.
- A former Disney engineer talks about the design process and decisions made in the Design of Disney’s coasters Space Mountain and Big Thunder Mountain Railroad in “Making Magic: How Computers Influenced Roller Coaster Design.”
Millions of people across the world ride roller coasters to get the thrill of their lives! Find out what takes to make some of the fastest roller coasters work on Discovery Science: Machines: Rollercoaster! Also check out Build It Bigger: Coasters
Algebra in the Real World: Roller Coasters. The heart-pumping exhilaration keeps us coming back time and time again, but it’s the laws of the physics and a great deal of math that keep these thrill rides soaring through the air day after day.
Energy in a Roller Coaster Ride - See potential energy convert to kinetic energy in this interactive activity that shows a roller coaster in action.
- Explore Learning Gizmo: Roller Coaster Physics - Adjust the hills on a toy-car roller coaster and watch what happens as the car careens toward an egg (that can be broken) at the end of the track. The heights of three hills can be manipulated, along with the mass of the car and the friction of the track. A graph of various variables of motion can be viewed as the car travels, including potential, kinetic, and total energies, and the x- and y- components of position, velocity, and acceleration.