Thursday, November 14, 2013

Physics for the thrill seekers

MCH physics students experienced exciting twists and turns and used their creativity during the recent roller coaster project at Methodist Children’s Home School. Teacher Angie Hammond developed the hands-on project as a way to teach her students the concepts of force, motion and energy.

For the project, students were challenged to create a thrilling roller coaster that will satisfy customers of Six Flags amusement park who wish for more exciting rides.  The students worked as a group to design a roller coaster and prepare a presentation for a team of scientists serving as Six Flags’ Board of Directors.

Students created their roller coasters using pipe insulation and tested out the tracks using a marble. The marble must stay on the track throughout the ride and come to a complete stop at the end. The team calculated the speed, acceleration, potential and kinetic energy on various spots on the track. Each team came up with a creative design incorporating twists, turns and loops to complete a thrilling ride.

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