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In science class we were doing a chapter on the Newton's Laws and did a project to make a roller coaster to understand how much science and math was involved in creating one.  Newton's first law is an object at rest tends to stay at rest unless acted on by an outside force and an object in motion tends to stay in motion unless acted on by an outside force, this law is also called the Law of Inertia.  Which means if a ball is at rest on the ground it will stay at rest unless an outside force, which would be you, moved it.  Newton's second law is acceleration of an object depends on mass of the object and the size of the net force applied.  Which means if you are pulling a wagon with twenty bricks and your friend pulls a wagon with twenty feathers, you (acting as the net force) will go slower than your friend because the mass in your wagon is heavier and you won't be able to pull it fast enough.  The third law is when a force is applied to an object the object exerts an equal force in the opposite direction.  Which means if you have a fan on a skateboard blowing into the sail on the other end they will cancel each other out.

In the project there were four roles for everybody in the group.  There was the design engineer, who found out how roller coasters are designed.  The lawyer, who found out the legal matters in making roller coasters.  The physicist, who found out the science involved in a roller coaster, and the one I was, the historian which found out where the first roller coasters were built and where the tallest and fastest coasters are.  I found out that the first roller coasters were ice slides in St. Petersburg, Russia, and the tallest is Kingda Ka at Six Flags Great Adventure, New Jersey, USA.

This roller coaster was a success because it had enough kinetic energy to make it through the loops and hills and it didn't have to much so that it would crash.

This roller coaster failed because it didn't have enough speed and velocity to make it over the first loop.

We called our coaster the Sharp Pencil because we didn't know what to call it because we saw a pencil and decided to call it 'Pencil' but that was too boring so we called it the sharp pencil.

If you want to check out the roller coaster creator website click here.

Article posted April 17, 2012 at 09:03 AM • comment • Reads 250 • see all articles