Monday-Tuesday November 26-27, 2012

Illustration of businesspeople riding a roller coasterROLLER 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: Build Ride Scream!

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.

Coaster Crafter is designed so that students can play in a self-directed manner without help from teachers or other adults. It is divided into three sections:  Design Challenges, Coaster Challenges and a Free Play area.  Design Challenges introduce students to the key STEM concepts (inertia, velocity, gravity, etc.) in the game, functioning like a tutorial on each subject. The Coaster Challenges are where students begin to develop mastery of what they have learned by actually applying it in the work of designing and building structured roller coasters.  In the Free Play area, students can create and share their own personal coasters at any point during game play. However, students only have access to the building elements they have won in the challenges, so this serves as motivation for students to complete all of them.




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.

  • 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.

  • 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.


Posted by on November 25, 2012 at 12:00 pm | Comments & Trackbacks (0)

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