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Amusement Park Physics

This site explores the laws of physics and how they play a role in the design of amusement park rides. You can design a roller coaster, determine the outcome of bumper car collisions, and more.

Curriculum Information For Resource

 Snapshot Grade Level(s): 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12 Curriculum Areas: ScienceMathematics Themes/Keywords: Force Motion Physics Roller coasters

Vocabulary
acceleration, centripetal force, energy, kinetic/potential energy, friction, g, gravitational force, inertia, mass, momentum, velocity, weight/weightlessness

Essential Question(s)
 1 How does a roller coaster work? 2 What's the difference between a wooden roaster coaster and a metal roller coaster?

Discussion Question(s)
 1 What is the most important part of a roller coaster? 2 How does the human body adjust to the motion of the roller coaster?

Extension and Activities
 1 Ask students to reflect on their favorite roller coaster and why they like it. Research the kind of roller coaster it is and how it works? Is it a loop coaster or a up-and-down coaster? How are they different? What laws of physics are in play for the roller coaster to work? Now design one using the tool found on the site.

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