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.