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Amusement Park Physics

By Linda C. Joseph - Posted Aug 1, 2008
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For August 1, 2008: Plan a virtual field trip to Amusement Park Physics sponsored by the Annenberg Foundation. Learn about freefall and gravity using a paper cup with holes and water. While riding the carousel, think about the laws of motion. Are some horses moving faster than others? Predict the outcomes of bumper car collisions based on the laws of acceleration and interaction. Explore these questions regarding pendulum rides. What causes the feeling of "weightlessness" on pendulum rides? Why do riders experience high g-forces on pendulum rides? Then, design a roller coaster. Select the height of the first hill, the shape of the hill, the exit path, the height of the second hill, and if you should include a loop. After making your selections, test your coaster for safety and fun. Enjoy your visit and be sure to pass the link on to other teachers.

Fly over to CyberBee for more great websites, lessons, and activities to use with students.

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